Most people deal with struggle one way or the other in life. Trials will come our way, most likely quite often.
Even those who from the outside seem like everything is going perfect for them, there’s high probability they are dealing with a personal struggle of some nature.
Why do trials happen?
Is there a reason?
Or is it just life?
Philosophers, pundits, and prophets have shared their collective wisdom.
One such was Spencer W. Kimball, a prophet. I have taken comfort in this counsel given in one of his hallmark addresses, “Tragedy or Destiny.”
“If pain and sorrow and total punishment immediately followed the doing of evil, no soul would repeat a misdeed. If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil-all would do good and not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency only Satanic controls.
“Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment or even death, and if these were not there would also be an absence of joy, success, resurrection, eternal life and Godhood” (Devotional, Brigham Young University, December 6, 1955).
While I have no wise answers of my own, I do have a thought. I guess I would be one of the pundits. Or perhaps one who simply waxes philosophically.
Struggles and trials will always be with us. Even when that one struggle that seems most vexing today has been successfully overcome, there will be other struggles. That is part of the journey of life.
There may be a reason for this. Or there may not be.
I do not know.
What I do know is we can choose to find and even create joy in the journey. When we learn to create joy amidst all our struggles, life has a way of becoming richly beautiful.
Finding and creating such joy generally comes through a gift, a process, or both.
Sometimes joy is simply bestowed as a gift. This may be a tender mercy of God, His beautiful and loving grace filling us with joyful hope. Or such a gift may be internal to our very nature, to be more inclined to see good, find hope, feel joy.
Other times joy is a result of intentional searching and creating. Deliberately seeking to see the light, hope, and joy when everything, and maybe everyone, is telling you there is no light, hope, or joy to be found. Perhaps it’s learning to tell ourselves a better story and envisioning being the person we want to be. Such a creation process can be a crucial first step in lifting ourselves out of our current struggles by rising to the occasion.
When we learn to create joy amidst all our struggles, life has a way of becoming richly beautiful.
WALK NOT ALONE
While finding joy on this journey may at times feel most difficult, know you do not have to search alone, nor do you need to walk alone.
We are here.
Your friends, family, neighbors, and community.
Though I do understand there may be times you feel like even they are not really here for you. I get that. I have felt that too many times. Yet, in hindsight, I discovered it was those times when those I needed were there the most.
Please trust me, my friends, people are there for you.
And we are here for each other.
And we are one with you.
I wrote this poem for a friend of mine, Michelle Taylor Moore, in honor of her brother Troy who was killed by suicide. Tragically, Michelle also lost her brother Major Brent Taylor who was killed nearly two years in Afghanistan.
ONE WITH YOU
By Les Patterson
The journey is hard
The tears are lonely
The ache is too much
For one person to carry
But this burden is not
Yours alone to bear
We are here
To share the load
The weight to carry
The light to shine
We are your family
Even the unknown strangers
You pass as you journey
Each one us
Share the burdens
Lighten the load
Heighten the hope
Brighten the path
One of us
One with you
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share!
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to intentionally discover those who walk the hard part of life with you.
Photo by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
Check out last week’s Red Edge Live interview with “Superstar Activator” Michelle Villalobos where we explore how people can embrace their passion to become stronger leaders and influencers.