I remember once driving onto the beach in our Tarago. It wasn’t that crazy as it was a beach we had driven on before and hey, everyone was doing it. Little did I know that the wind had moved the sand banks and what had been solid ground was now an open invitation to get stuck!
And stuck we were.
We piled out of the car and assessed the situation, not really having a clue as to what we would do and not a single rescuer in sight. We tossed around ideas before the kids dug out some of the sand by hand until we found some solid ground, then we plotted our way out back to the road.
We needed to review where we were, how we got there (mum thought it was a good idea at the time), what we needed in order to get out and a new path to follow. It was a slow process but we got out and we learned it’s best to leave beach driving to the four wheel drives.
Many times in life we can get “stuck” in situations or moods and fail to even look for the path out, or we flounder around in circles and end up back where we started.
When challenges come our way, as they often do, just like getting bogged in the sand, we need to stop and assess the situation. What went wrong and where am I now? What help do I need to work through this, either friends, professional or even just practical? Where do I want to go, what can I learn from and through this and how will I get to where I want to be?
There is something that saddens my heart to hear of people who have faced great challenges yet remain stuck even after many years. They are struggling with the same heartache, the same bitterness, asking the same questions and seem unable to accept even the slightest hint of light at the end of their tunnel.
Challenges do bring heartache and turmoil and they do make us question our worth and our values and test our courage and strength.
Just like we had to remove the sand one handful at a time sometimes small steps is all we can manage, but small steps and handfuls of sand will bring change in the long run.
Challenges will make us stronger when we grow through them instead of fighting against them and we don’t have to do it on our own. There are people who can help us and we will end up richer in character for the process.
(2 January 2011)