Look for the Lesson (Twenty-first Ordinary)

A bystander said, “Master, will only a few be saved?” Jesus said, “Whether few or many is none of your business. Put your mind on your life with God. The way to life – to God! – is vigorous and requires your total attention”. (Luke 13: 23 – 24)

A guy in my men’s group greets any new challenge in his life by asking, “Where’s the lesson to be learned here?” He’ll say this when things go poorly at work, when he struggles with members of his family, or even when something tragic will happen. I admire his courage and resilience. There are times when I just don’t want any more of life’s “lessons”. But they continue to come. The question is what will we make of them?

Saint Paul echo’s my friend’s message when he says, “Endure your trials as discipline”. Discipline is empty if we don’t learn the lesson. If you don’t get chosen for a promotion, the lesson might be that other parts of your life can provide the riches you are seeking. If someone slanders you, the lesson may be that it’s more important to be convinced inside that you are worthy than to rely on the opinions of others.

I once messed up on a project at work because I had become a one-man band, asking for no help and accepting none that was offered. Even when I saw things falling apart, I simply held the reigns tighter and stayed to myself. When my failure became apparent I felt horrible. I could continue on my self-destructive path or do what was hard for me: ask my colleagues for help. My failure turned into a great blessing.

So when life’s trials, difficulties, and disappointments come your way, ask yourself, “Where’s the lesson?”

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