How to live victoriously anyway.
It has been said that every person’s life is a diary in which he or she means to write one story, and is forced to write another. That is, we plan for one way; we are forced to travel another.
But what shall we say of those crushing disappointments in life which do not turn into good fortune? Not every prison door opens out into centuries of service, not all valleys of the shadow of death lead to the brightness of the morning. Some of our disappointments we are forced to live with all the way.
When our little children go to bed, they do not mind having the light turned off, if the door is left open just a tiny bit. The realization that their mother or father is close by frees them from their fears. So with us. No matter how hard the struggle may be, how dark the future is, the realization of a divine presence and power frees us from the bondage of fear.
Isn’t it true that most of our worries are borrowed from some other day? We worry about mountains we will never have to climb, about streams we will never have to cross, about situations we will never have to meet.
Sometimes it takes a failure, or an accident, or some setback to make one think. Some people never look up until they are on their backs.
Years ago I stood on a bridge over the great Mississippi river. Then I saw all of the Mississippi delta land. And I thought of how time and again that land had been flooded and of how every flood was a disappointment to a lot of people. Houses were wrecked and crops were destroyed. But each flood left a deposit of soil, and today that land is one of the richest sections in all the world.
The flood of disappointment hurts, but it leaves life richer and better when it is rightly borne. We believe God heals in two ways – through the science of medicine and surgery and through the science of faith and prayer. And those two ways are not in conflict with each other; they are wings of the same bird.
When we stand at our full height in the face of obstacles, when we refuse to shrink back but instead give our own best, when we sincerely say to life, “I come to you in the name of the Lord,” inhibitions are taken away, the tangles are cleared and the clouds of life are lifted.
There are vast numbers of people who are defeated in their lives. Their conqueror may be some wrong action, or it may be a mental evil, such as fear of worry. I am convinced that no person need be defeated by anything. I declare we have within reach the power to live victoriously.
You will live victoriously if you remember these four things:
1. Never forget you are important. Because of who you are and what you are, you can afford to believe in yourself and depend on yourself.
2. Remember that you are needed. There is at least one important work to be done that will not be done unless you do it. We all give ourselves to something. Think bigger thoughts of what your life can amount to.
3. Remember that there are several people in you. You are a good person, but you also do bad things. You shrink back from life, but you also face a hard situation with calmness and courage. You have temptations to sink into some muddle of living, but you also reach for the stars. Within you lives one who is careless and doesn’t care, another who is greedy and selfish, another who is controlled by passions, and many other selves. But never forget, within you is always a best self.
4. Hope in the divine. When you believe, you have hope. As the sun drives the clouds away, so hope chases away our blues.
By Bob Mueller. Bob Mueller is Bishop of the United Catholic Church. bobmueller.org