One of the greatest challenges of life is how we respond to challenges, setbacks, and disappointments that invariably come along in the midst of life.
In these moments, each of us has the choice to either give up, or to persevere. Many times we listen to the inner voice that tells us that we are not worthy, not capable, or not good enough, and we set aside the goal(s) that we are pursuing. Or we embrace the struggle, learn from the setbacks and continue to persevere in whatever it is that we are attempting to do on the journey. It is this embracing of the vagaries and challenges along the journey that Spirit desires for each of us.
“You see, your ego will want you to quit. It wants you to take the path of least resistance. It does not want you to shine. It does not want you to fight for a better life. The spirit knows that no growth is ever accomplished by listening to the ego or feeling comfortable all the time.” —Danette May, Fitness and Wellness Coach
Growth is what the spiritual journey is all about. You are never standing still, you are either moving forward or backward. The sooner we understand that reality and embrace it, then it becomes that much easier to persevere. Say what?
Contrary to popular belief, success does not come from never experiencing failures, setbacks or disappointments. Rather, success comes from an understanding that nothing is permanent, particularly our talents, gifts, and capabilities.
All of who we are, especially when we are being directed by God’s will for our life, is capable of great growth and change, and it is this understanding that all things are possible in, with and through Christ, that helped the saints persevere throughout the many difficulties and challenges they faced. They never gave up the hope that despite their weaknesses, despite their failures, despite encountering disappointment after disappointment, they simply kept trying to do their best, and trusted that God would someday transform them and make them holy men and women, saints.
Similarly, it is my firm hope in God’s ability to transform me, that keeps me on the path, as I struggle to change the best I am able, trusting that God will take care of my anger, impatience, judgmental attitude, laziness, lack of charity, self-reliance, lack of faith in His goodness and mercy, and all of the other many ways that I am FAR from being holy! LOL
God loves everyone with unique love; he wants to lead them all to perfection, but at the same time has very different paths for different people. This means that the frequency and characteristics of the inspirations of grace will differ from one person to another. We cannot force the Spirit, God is the master of his gifts. That said, it cannot be doubted that God will grant each person at least the inspirations he needs for his own sanctification.” — Fr. Jacques Philippe, In the School of the Holy Spirit
It is this reality that I will hold on to, and it gives me the strength to take courage and persevere on the journey.
So regardless of whatever may be going on in your life, whatever disappointment, setback or failure you may be experiencing, remember that God loves you, and will lead you to perfection. Simply, take courage and persevere.