Wednesday, January 6, 2010

“Adversity Introduces You to Yourself”

As we close out 2009 and look forward to 2010, I would like to end with a quote that has become a favorite of mine this past year: “Adversity Introduces You to Yourself”. Let’s see what we can learn from this nugget of wisdom.

Adversity is something that all of us try to avoid. From the speeding ticket, to the t-bone intersection crash, to the pink slip at work, to the “F” on our report chord, to divorce, to death …yeah, you get the point, adversity inhales vigorously!

Other words for adversity include “catastrophe”, “disaster”, and “trouble”. These are not much better than the original. But can good come out of adversity? Can the adversity we face in our lives be redeemed and reborn into something beautiful? I think the answer is yes!

It’s inevitable that we will all face adversity in our lives. We don’t like it. It’s not fair. It’s painful. It’s maddening. Its life on life’s terms. Unfortunate, maybe, but true nonetheless. Therefore, if we know adversity is going to come, what can we do about it? We may not be able to control the events surrounding us but we can embrace the challenge those events present to us.

Musician Steven Curtis Chapman penned the following words in his song “Bring It On”, “I didn’t come lookin’ for trouble, And I don’t want to fight needlessly, But I’m not gonna hide in a bubble, If trouble comes for me.” What powerful words! Chapman assumes a laid back approach to life not needlessly stirring up trouble and is content living a peaceful existence. However, he is insistent that he will not live in a bubble if trouble comes for him. He will stand up and fight. Perhaps a better way to say it would be, “I’m not gonna hide in a bubble, WHEN trouble comes for me.” We know trouble will come; it’s just a matter of when.

Perhaps 2009 was a troubling year for you, filled with anxiety and adversity. Regardless of what happened to you or the world around you, if you are reading this, you survived it. You didn’t hide in a bubble. You faced it, and perhaps in the process you were introduced to yourself in a way you never imagined. Faults became glaringly obvious that need fixing. Strengths became a source of encouragement and confidence. Either way, no matter the personal revelation, you have made it. Perhaps you’re thinking, “yeah right, my ‘adversity’ is not going away just because the calendar year changes”. That might be so and it’s fair to feel that way. Let me encourage you to keep living outside the bubble in 2010, to stand up straight, shoulders back, teeth gritting with resolve shining like a star in the night as you step up to adversity’s face and say, “No more hiding. It’s you and me. One of us is going down and it ain’t me!”

Happy New Year!

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