We all have days when it seems the world may be against us. Nothing seems to be going our way, at least without a lot of additional push on our parts. We just plain get demoralized and then we ‘sit and stew’ as a long-gone relative would say. As I tuned in my radio this morning I caught an amazing basketball score but couldn’t remember the names of the teams.
Team 1 led Team 2 at half-time by a score of 53 to 19. You already know where this is going, I’m sure. Team 2 won that game by a handful of points. How many times in our respective lives might we have eeked out a win if we’d just kept pushing all the way to that last minute on the clock?
We can be our own worst enemies in virtually all aspects of our lives if we do not give everything we do everything we have. I know that we’ve probably had a ‘life coach’ in one or more stages of our lives that we’d have loved to be able to put in our rearview mirrors occasionally. That person might’ve been a relative or a supervisor or a Pastor or just a very good friend. We seem able to only take advice in small doses and that is especially true when we need that advice more than usual.
It almost seems that our ‘advisors’ are using a fire hose-sized dosage of advice when we are simply fed up with advice…period. Those are the times when we simply feel that the entire world must be in the other corner. In some of those situations, we find our way out to where the sun is shining brightly again, and in some situations, we seem to wallow in the personal funk for days…or longer.
All the good advice in our worldview is not going to help if we are not ready to accept that good advice. How often do we look back at situations in life’s rearview mirror and finally admit that it was our own fault that we didn’t attain what we were striving for? Or at least admit that we could’ve gotten to a more respectable place before we gave up the ghost? We finally accept that we might have been the cause rather than someone else we’d blamed for that outcome.
If we are involved in team sports, maybe we needed to share more of the ‘credit’ for not winning. If it is us vs. the world, maybe we were simply trying to climb a mountain higher than that we could handle given life experience and physical and mental preparation. Maybe we should simply not have gotten ourselves into that situation. PERIOD.
Life is what we make of it. If we are prone to giving up before the clock runs out, we are going to learn about losing more than we’d like. If we are ready for Level One of anything but think we ought to be able to score well in Level Three, we need be ready for that life lesson that tells us, sometimes painfully, that we were wrong; that we were not ready for that level of challenge.
Of course, in this world of “It is what we make of it”, we always have the opportunity to place blame for poor results on the shoulders of others. That occurs when we are unable to be man or woman enough to simply look ourselves in the eyes in that ‘mirror’ of life and admit that we took on more than we were prepared to handle.
And even that personal admission of some level of blame for the outcome is part of the “It is what we make of it” lesson. That is when we finally may be getting to the point of understanding self, of knowing what our abilities were at that time compared to the abilities of those who bested us in whatever was the challenge du jour.
We see coaches in various situations that seem to know us better than we know ourselves. Those are the people from whom we can learn a lot if we will permit that learning to take place. I reserve my pity for those who do not seem to have it in themselves to reckon with what the world is trying to tell them, who bang their heads against the stone wall over and over again.
In a political sense, that person might be Hillary Clinton. We are pretty safe in the assumption that this family has more than sufficient money to live out their lives in relative obscurity as non-political types but, like the moth attracted to the flame, they appear unable to reach the moment of personal truth.
In other situations, we see the coach who had aspirations of playing a sport professionally but who finally accepted that he or she was not quite of that caliber. They might now be coaching others and doing very well at that level. And still in love with their lives.
Everything in this life is what we make of it. Some rise above significant challenges and achieve in other ways. Some never get the message. Some flop around like a fish out of the water as they move from acceptance to denial to acceptance to denial again. Those of us who come to understand where we best fit and embrace that place are in the best of all worlds.
It is what WE make of it! Of course, our Maker is ready to help us whenever we get there.