The ever changing conditions during our ten hours on the road seemed to me like a metaphor for life.
The morning started out misty, with low clouds hugging the hillsides. Splashes of colour visible between the clouds provided a welcome contrast to the greyness surrounding us.
Soon we encountered pouring rain and poor visibility. The view around us became obscured.
In the distance I could make out the faint outline of rolling hills. Then, muted colours appeared. As we neared, I saw the vibrant hues of fall foliage. The beauty was a reprieve amid the overcast skies.
I was aware that the colour had been there all along. It had just been hidden from view by the storm we were passing through.
In early afternoon the sun broke through. We thought our drive would now be more pleasant. Instead, we were faced with a new challenge as strong headwinds seemed determined to hold us back. We fought through them and kept going.
The highway turned and the wind attacked from another direction. It became a cross wind that tried to blow us off course. Strength and determination helped us hold onto our bearings.
We persevered and after a long day of driving, reached our destination. Our journey would continue the next day.
We had no idea what would be in store for us the following day but two things were clear. The challenges we faced today not only made us stronger but have also given us a deeper appreciation for the smoother days when they come.
Tentatively I stepped on the scales, hoping to see a lower number. After all, I’d cut out sugar, reduced my portion sizes and been drinking more water so the weight should be dropping off. It had been three whole days of this new regime and I figured the results should be starting to show.
Instead, there was no change. How could that be? Had I resisted the sugary treats for nothing?
It may sound ridiculous that I expected results in just a few short days, but that was my mindset. Since this new eating plan wasn’t giving me the desired results, maybe it wasn’t worth the effort. I could say, “Oh well, I tried” and go back to my old ways.
Something inside of me said I may have been expecting too much, so I didn’t quit. Over the next few weeks, the number on the scales would go down slightly one day and then be up again the next. I was disappointed until I thought about my clothing that wasn’t fitting quite as snugly as it had previously. Come to think of it, I’d had more energy and better focus lately, too.
This was a big lesson in perseverance. The benefit of doing what I knew was right even though it was challenging was not lost on me. I was proud of myself for not quitting when I failed to see instant rewards.
I may not have achieved the results I was looking for, but I did get what I needed. If I can use this as my inspiration to keep moving toward my goals and not let setbacks stop me, I’ll be able to reach much more than I thought possible.
Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance. Samuel Johnson
My husband and I were out for our morning walk along the beach. The fresh sea air was invigorating. Several times we stopped to watch fish swimming in the crystal clear water beside us.
Up ahead we could see some piles of seaweed. It was an eyesore but that wouldn’t keep us from continuing on.
As we approached, we here hit by the noxious smell of damp, rotting seaweed. My first instinct was to hold my breath. Fearing it would be worse when I had to gasp for air moments later, I decided against this course of action.
The decision we faced was obvious. We could either turn back or brave the smell until we had passed through this area. If we turned back, we’d miss the opportunity to experience what was on the other side.
We chose to keep going and soon were rewarded with a lovely stretch of beach to walk along.
I thought about the times I’ve been faced with a situation that was unpleasant. Sometimes I have turned back thinking, “This stinks.” Whenever that situation comes to mind, this is the only impression that remains.
If, however, I have carried on and worked through things, the noxious feeling has been replaced by one of satisfaction at the outcome that was achieved.
The choice is mine. Do I want to turn back when things are not as I imagined, or do I keep going to see what waits for me a little farther on the journey?
A saying that I hold onto is “If God brings you to it; he’ll bring you through it.” I know that my trust in him will be rewarded as I follow the path he has set for me.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:4 NIV)