Do we own the obstacles or do they own us?
As we go through life, many obstacles can cross our paths. It is at this point we become overwhelmed. Obstacles placed before us can shake us to our very core, causing us great pain and suffering. When faced with these challenges in life we often become very frustrated, which can cause the shedding of many tears. Often they can redefine our very nature in life. There are various reasons why barriers are placed before us. For example a parent who is struggling at work might also have a child who is causing them stress. In turn, the child might be in their own struggle with a bully at school. In reality struggles in life can be very different yet very similar.
When I was 11 years old, I began working with my father on different job sites. My job was to fetch and carry lumber for the framing crew. When I was a young teenager, I had the opportunity to meet Steve Myrick who owned Myrick Construction Company. Steve was the man my father sub-contracted from. I did not realize it at the time, but Steve was observing me. He noticed that I was a hard worker; however, he also noticed that I started to mimic my father’s bad spending habits. Steve was very aware of my family’s struggle with finances. It was at this time, that Steve decided to become my mentor. He did not invest in me financially, but he invested in my heart, mind, and spirit. In a profound way Steve Myrick helped to change my perception of life. His wisdom and knowledge have helped me tremendously, and I will always be eternally grateful for the lessons he taught me.
Steve asked me a very important and life changing question:
“What is the difference between a rich man and a poor man?”
More often than not, the answer to this question that I hear most is “Money”. But, this answer would not be correct. To other people, this may not have been a life altering experience. In my case, it would be a principle that God would, one day, use to guide my life.
Before I share Steve’s answer, I want you to think about these questions:
- “Currently, what’s your greatest obstacle?”
- “How do you look at that obstacle?” “Is your approach ‘why me’?”
- “What can I learn?”
And most importantly:
- “Will I own the obstacle or let the obstacle own me?”
When we can truly confront and overcome our obstacles, we will obtain teaching and learning tools that can help us define who we are. Every difficult step we take, carves out a stronger, and more resilient inner self. The inner self develops character and hope.
Through God’s teachings we learn the principles of being good shepherds. They were the lowest in income, stature, and importance to the world. They spent weeks and months roaming around with their flocks on their own. They would often be attacked by wild animals seeking to devour their sheep. If a sheep became separated and lost, the shepherd went after it. God gave us Jesus; He became our shepherd for the lost. Jesus reminded us that God’s principle of “suffer well and be worthy of a crown!” holds true.
Shepherds are made Kings through suffering; perseverance is the key to the inheritance! Shepherds are tried and tested through adversity and overcome obstacles by faith. They go where others don’t want to tread and defend when others run away.
One thing to understand is that obstacles are necessary resources to have for success in our lives. We can condition ourselves to “enjoy” the process of overcoming obstacles and we will find ourselves ahead of the crowd.
Be a shepherd; focus on His purpose for your life. Adversity will one day be a footstool for Christ to be glorified.
- Man asks: “why me?”
- Shepherds ask: “what can I learn?”
- Man asks: “why does God forget me?”
- Shepherds say: “thy rod and staff comfort me.”
- Man leans on his own understanding.
- Shepherds lean not unto their own understanding, but yet constantly seek a new one.
Fear nothing that you are about to suffer. [Dismiss your dread and your fears!] Behold, the devil is indeed about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested and proved and critically appraised, and for ten days you will have affliction. Be loyally faithful unto death (and I will give you the crown of life). Revelation 2:10 (AMP)
Suffer well and be blessed with the crown!
So what was Steve Myrick’s answer to the question, “What is the difference between a rich man and a poor man?” Four words: “The way they think”.
Steve confirmed in four words a Biblical principle that our choices control our outcomes. When we choose well, we live well.
Life’s journey is never truly about what happens to us; it is far more important to know that every challenge is a tool to build rather than destroy. Adversity is God’s university to refine our purpose within. True success is the result of our obstacles, adversities and trials. Success comes from getting back up. That is where the testimony is built and a crown is earned.
In your service,