Tough Times Secret

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calendarAugust 20, 2009

Everywhere I go today it seems as though everyone is talking about how tough times are. I certainly have felt the economic crunch in my business. I try to keep a good attitude about the future but the reality is, times are tough. It would be hard to find someone who disagreed with that statement these days. However, I remember something I learned years ago about going through hard times from a very wise counselor. The truth is, this is not the first time I’ve been through difficult times and I imagine it will not be the last. So, the advice from my old friend has helped me weather many storms over the years.

One day as I was complaining to him about a particularly tough season I was going through with my business he asked me a question that literally changed my outlook on life. He said, “Mike, finish this sentence; ‘life is a _____________’ you fill in the blank.” I pondered my answer for some time before I spoke. He had used this questioning technique as a way of teaching me some important lessons in the past. I knew better than to ask him to repeat the question so I blurted out the first thing that came to my mind, “A journey”, I replied. “Great answer”, he said. “Here’s what you need to understand. If life is, indeed, a journey then the secret of life is to learn to fall in love with that. It’s not about arriving at your destination or reaching your goals that matters. It’s the struggle, the pain, the bloody noses and skinned knees that provide us with the real joy in our life. Believe me, realizing your biggest dreams will seem somewhat empty when you finally accomplish them. When you survey your life you will realize that the real juice of life came from the journey and not from what you accomplished.”

It took a while for the wisdom of that lesson to sink in. Eventually I came to realize that the hard times, the in-between times and the good times are equally good. That lesson has served me well over the years. I have to remind myself of it in hard times and I usually don’t remember it in good times. Nonetheless, it is a valuable truth that we all should learn.

Answer the question for yourself. No matter what your answer the secret is to learn to fall in love with that.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering…Gal. 5:22

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One Comment

  • Bob Martin says:

    Mike,

    Still very wise counsel indeed. This is the reminder I needed today.

    Bob
    Minneapolis


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