5 Luxuries Life’s Pains Teach Us
Some of life’s best often come clothed in rags of negativity
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
~ Soren Kierkegaard
Often, problems in life take on lives of their own. There you are, faced with one daunting challenge. Suddenly some little yet nagging problems crop up on you. Their mission is to spite and further humiliate you. Or so it seems. All this, while you’re still striving to wriggle out of the bigger trap. And you cry, “O, ye little problems, have a heart.” If only they could hear or care about you and your pains. They don’t.
Such was my lot the other day. It was my boy’s matriculation day at school. Along with his mum and uncle, we were all set for the campus. The day before, the tires of the old car began dancing out of alignment. That was on our way home from a church meeting.
Come matriculation day, first things first. The mechanic arrived in time for a quick check on the car. I had earlier called him the previous day to come and find out if we can use the car for one extra trip before sending it for repairs.
The mechanic drove it back and forth in the compound. He was now set to drive the car out for repairs. But the car refused to crank or start. The car battery was OK, fully charged. But, even when it was jumpered to the battery of another running car, it still won’t budge. The kick starter has suddenly packed up. Just like that.
Finally, we had to make the trip to the campus with the second car. Our destination was on the other side of the town, some 20 kilometers away. At first, we hadn’t intended to use the second car. A throng of new students, their families, and well-wishers were in attendance. Driving into the university’s premises was at a crawling speed.
The ceremony, held by the university’s authorities to commemorate the admission of their new students, soon ended. The beehive of humans soon turned into fanfare and picnic time. Driving back through the jumbled mass of people and vehicles, we headed back for the main road. A distance of fewer than two kilometers took us about two hours to cover.
It was just well that the other car develop the fault at home. It would have been a most distressing experience if our car had stopped in its tracks while we were snaking through that sea of heads on that day. Everyone was mostly for himself. Much-needed help would have been next to impossible. All the roads were virtually closed because of the traffic gridlock.
We finally made it back home safely.
These lessons will serve you as well.
Little problems often serve the purpose of saving us from bigger problems. Bitterly, we may chafe against such inconveniences only to discover they were timely factors in our deliverance. In my case, if the fault that suddenly occurred with the first car had developed on our way to the university campus, it would have endangered the family. Worst still, I would have spent more to tow the car out of a grid-locked traffic besides repair costs.
Life grills us all. Whatever life throws at you, always look at the brighter side. No, this is not escapism. Our appreciation of life’s lessons gets clearer and better in retrospect. Hard as it may be to sell, some problems we face in life are actually stepping stones to our promotion, growth, and advancement. You already know that, don’t you? Maturity and experience.
Some of life’s best lessons are best learned through the school of adversities and setbacks. Pains and troubles serve good ends that you may not have learned any other way. George Hardy, in his Double Take — A Second Look at Your Cosmic Destiny, recounted the sad story of a factory worker who was grinding his fingers away at work. He was blissfully temporarily, oblivious to the life-threatening accident at first. This is because he has lost his sense of feeling and pain. He realized his plight only when he saw blood dripping from his wound. A life that is completely devoid of pain, frustrations, and setback may not be as healthy or desirable as we imagine it would be after all.
Even when we are our own worst enemies, the mercies of heaven do come through for the penitent. Be humble. Listen. As I write this, I think of the Holy Bible story of Joseph. He was banished and sold as a slave to Egypt because of the ill will of his elder brothers! Later in life, God Almighty turned his unmerited adversity into joy and unspeakable blessings. The Holy Bible brought to the scene where his brothers open up and confess their evil past. They may never have come to this realization had adversities not come their way. Run, they could, but,hide, but they couldn’t. Their confession, I imagine, ran follows, “Brothers, pay-day has arrived. Our past has caught up with us.” Read the story in Genesis 42:21–22, 28, 36 (KJV)
21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.
22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.
28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?
36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.
The relief you desire may come to you in the garments of negativity. Do not panic, do not despair. It may be hard to do. Cheer up. Or pretend to cheer up at first. This is the attitude that will enable you to see the silver lining of hope despite the cloud of gloom and depression. Not that all things in life will be pleasant. Prepare. Certainly, as a Christian, God has no delight in afflicting us with life’s troubles. But through the good, the bad and the not-so-beautiful, Apostle Paul will have us know that all things work together for good for those that love God.
Some of life’s little problems often serve the purpose of saving us from bigger problems. Take heart and cheer up.
Sooner than later, life grills us all. Whatever life throws at you, always look at its brighter side.
Some of life’s best lessons are best taught and learned in the school of adversities and setbacks. Don’t you ever quit. Because you’re stronger than your worst setbacks. You will yet prove it again. First, to yourself.
Even when we are our own worst enemies, the mercies of heaven do come through for the penitent. Reflect. Repent. Change.
The relief you desire may come to you in the garments of negativity. Smoothen your way through by roughening it out. Counterintuitive. Yes.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
~ Holy Bible; Romans 8:28
Thank you for reading. This story was originally published here.
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