We are faced with challenges every day. We’re in the throes of facing bad decisions, circumstances and trials that seem that to want to kill us, or at the very least, keep us down. We deal with the pains of the world and serious global events. In the face of all of this, there is one thing to remember: We must persevere.
I have learned about perseverance in my own life. It’s one of the keys to success. Running a business and dealing with rocky relationships and individuals in the social as well as the church setting nearly drove me insane. So many problems at one time overloaded my mind, spirit and body to the point that I couldn’t hardly function or think.
Last summer, it appeared to me that everything bad that could happen did, all in a span of a couple of months. I was planning a high school reunion, which happened to be my own, that was slated for an entire weekend in August. While I was planning this event, I found out that I had misread my apartment lease and had to move out at the beginning of the month.
And, as if planning an event for people coming from all over the country and speed-moving was not enough, I received news that same week that an uncle whom I had not seen in a while had passed away. Boy, talk about rough. This was a lot to chew at one time. I had to maintain my business, find a place to live and attend a family function, which in itself, as we all know, can be very stressful. This is especially true in the case of funerals.
The morning I received the news about my uncle, I was trying to pack up my belongings to move, and I just couldn’t do it. My mind was racing to a thousand places. All my responsibilities were flying through my head. Questions popped up with no answers. I was in the middle of the fray and couldn’t see my way out of it. Finally, I decided to call a friend and explain to her what was going on. Thankfully, she had a simple solution: She would just show up and be there for me.
What does this have to do with perseverance, you may ask? The answer is simple—everything. I have discovered that every situation in life offers valuable lessons to be learned. One of these major lessons that I picked up from these situations was to be ready for anything and everything and to stay flexible. No matter how planned out we may think our lives are, we can almost always be certain that it won’t go exactly as we intended. There will be a kink in every plan. Below are several other principles I have gathered:
Stop and think. Review the situation. Set priorities. State your feelings and continue on. It’s alright to take a time out. Blow the whistle and remain calm. If it helps, write out your thoughts on paper. It will help you to calculate your plan of action.
Keep moving. You have to keep getting up in the morning, taking a shower, getting dressed and putting on your face. In other words, don’t mope around being sad about your situation; you can always change it. There is always a new day. Don’t let the situation control you. Don’t let the bad things that you hear stop you.
Don’t start complaining. It’s human nature to complain. Let’s face it, complaining is negative. Remember that troubles are only momentary things. They come and go. You choose to let your troubles stay.
Avoid strife. Do not give into it! It’s so easy to give in to bickering and arguing. Often during stressful situations, even the most passive person can find himself lashing out. In these times, when everything seems to be crashing down, it’s important to take time to think. Don’t walk by your emotions. Think. Think. Think.
Have a trusted friend. Oh, so important. As the old saying goes, no man is an island. I have found this to be true in any situation. People expect you to always be strong, but you need someone to unload onto also. You have rough times. You have opinions. You get hurt. And during stressful times, things are no different. It’s okay to vent to a trusted friend. Sometimes just getting our frustrations out can make all of the difference.
Rest and maintain a proper diet. So many times, we take our problems with us to bed. We can’t change them there. We only make things worse. Learn to have the proper amount of sleep. This will alleviate a lot of the problems that you already have. Proper rest will make you refreshed, sharp-minded and agreeable. Otherwise, we may damage already fragile relationships and cause pain to those who are supporting us. Also, don’t let your situations prevent you from eating. And leave trouble outside of your meals. Eat in peace. Your problems/troubles have no place in your bedroom or at your dinner table.
Find laughter. No matter what or how serious the situation may be, laughter/comedy can always help. I have discovered that there is a healing affect to laughter in those troubled times. Watch a comedy, go to a show, get around people who have a sense of humor. Laugh. You will feel better and will find yourself able to handle the situation better.
Don’t give up. You will make it! Remember you will get the reward if you do not faint.
With all of the challenges that surround us, these few steps will help you through them and bring you into a place of peace. Yes, it’s true—you can live there. And one last thing—remember that God is life, and since He is life, He intends for us to live a good one.