My wife, Ann, and I often cite how often others consider us to be on easy street, well off and have it good because we run a business, or have real estate or our kids are smart.
It just isn't so. Its a struggle to have anything in this world, really, and it is perplexing enough for me to want to mosh around the topic a bit in this blog.
Why is it so? Why is it that life serves lemons? Why am I constantly finding myself 'making lemonade', or picking up the pieces, or downhearted and seeking God's assistance to mend my broken dreams, my broken heart or my physical maladies?
Is it, as the below Internet post from some unknown author suggests, simply a matter of resisting temptations? I think not. A life full of resisting temptations is a life not lived, I would guesstimate. Jake Johannsen a very funy comedian, in his skit describing men, says "Just look at a 2 year old boy, running around" ... " ... and you get an idea of what its like in our head, as men. 'Don't do that', 'Don't touch that', 'That doesn't belong to you' ... we're suppressing that shit all the time".
Clearly, we're not. We don't suppress all of our drives, compulsions, interests and deviant behaviors because, well, we're human. Prone to sin, prone to failure. Perhaps, there is some truth to supressing temptations to relieve struggle, but in a way ... some of these outlets actually help with the struggle, if for but a brief respite, they still may actually make the struggle a bit less unpleasant.
Disclaimer: everything in moderation, of course.
Disclaimer: everything in moderation, of course.
So if I am to break down the next idea, be bigger than the bad guy, well this one has some real merit. I recently ran up against a bad guy (gal), and it was seriously debilitating to my conscience and conscious awareness and my soul, completely unearthed my idea of how capitalism, money, greed and getting ahead can clash and destroy sensibilities and make ugly, a beautiful thing. I was the direct recipient of the collateral damage fallout, and sure lost a lot of cash, but in the process learned a lot about people, myself and how being bigger than the bad guy is about ... well you, and the struggle. Apparently, the struggle for the most part, and with regards to character, is between my own ears. Luckily this isn't the constant norm, nor will I paint this attribute of 'bad guy (gal)' onto every human I interact with, but I've met a few now ... relatively late in life at 45 and now 52 years old, and it was shocking to me that direct assaults (or what I considered to be) on my own life and dreams and existence, could take place with such brazen uncaring. Mother Theresa said it best, from the Children Center wall in Calcutta:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
It is hard to imagine Mother Theresa using "anyway" so definitively ... in essence prompting you to enter into the struggle headlong, without reservation. But then that brings me to the final concept, at the end of her message: "In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway"
So how big does God factor into this struggle? Completely! He has given us through the Bible the word on the deception even of Adam's wife, not to cast all women as evil manipulators, but that the Garden, the effortless and beauty of nakedness, and wonderful life free of all guilt and sin is there, except for the forbidden fruit (remember: be stronger than your temptations, above?)
The struggle of life on Earth was clandestine, and it was written, that this life shall be now effortless garden of wonder, but we will toil and struggle, and we will not always win, and we may never win (Bills fans chime in here) that we will play anyway.
I find my character builds with each struggle, my mind sometimes not understanding, my heart in shambles but my God forever strong and there for me, showing me that despair isn't required, won't solve anything, nor will falling back into temptations. God shows that we are not powerless, when we believe, we have not only all of the power to get through the struggles, but a promise of a Garden ever after, when this world passes away and our brief existence and all the spoils of earth, that none of us will leave much to remember behind except the family and generations we pass down, and how we raise them, will be forgotten. Life will go on without us, the struggles no longer ours to care about or deal with.
That will be nice.