Very rarely do we ever go out and try to find a crisis that we can be a part of and experience. For most people, life is often a series of crisis's and we spend our energy running away from them. I have been blessed, in having several crisis's occur early in my adult life and that I had no chance to run from them. I was forced to try to survive them. I had to face them. I learned some things after about a half dozen of these not-so-wonderful events. Some are these are described here on the website:
- High Speed Chase; (Going through red lights at 85 miles per hour!)
- Christmas 1980; (An awful evening, that turned out great!)
- I didn't die, twice; (Watching friends die, who then saved me!)
- The Little Star; (Ramming a huge bridge with a small boat!)
- A Special Ring; (I hated going through this, but I'm glad I did!)
- The Obstacle Course (I had to learn this, I didn't want to!)
- She was sick again, why? (My daughter was sick!)
So, what was the opportunity in each of these events? Very often, a chance to look back, look within and change the path that I was on. Sometimes, I changed course just a little bit, but small course corrections are a vital part of success. Ask any navigator, or astronaut, how critical a tiny course correction is on a long journey, and the will probably tell you that it is a life-or-death correction.
Oh, you say you are not on a long journey, therefore it doesn't matter if you make any small corrections! Well, you may be right. You may only have another week or so to live, but I don't know that. I believe that my soul will NEVER die, that it has the gift of permanent life. It is immortal. With that perspective, you can see why I believe in the value of even the smallest course correction!
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." - Winston Churchill
By they way, my body does not have the same gift, and that is a blessing. This body of mine has many limitations that it did not have twenty years ago and is gaining more and more of them as time goes on. It truly shows signs of wear and tear. It does not react to crisis in the way my soul can and sometimes does.
The graphic at the top of the page and repeated here on the left is the Chinese symbol for crisis. It is composed of two symbols, one over the other. The top one (I am told) is the symbol for danger, while the bottom one is the symbol for opportunity. You can take that two ways I suppose. Either a crisis is an opportunity for danger or a crisis is a dangerous opportunity. It is easy to assume that the first definition is the real one.
But I prefer the later. I don't always remember that, so in the middle of a crisis I need to regroup, stop my emotional reactions and take a deep breath. I remind myself of the opportunity that is hidden (like the silver lining of the storm cloud) and try to find it as soon as possible. Talk about a difficult adventure! Try to find something you can't identify while all the time wanting to run from it!
No, I don't always succeed. I am human. The good news is that there have been several times when I didn't fail!
(click on title to read articles)
Divorce, Treating the Survivors Written while I was under attack long ago. Even though it is based very heavily on Scripture, you may be surprised by what you read.
Stress Management It's too late to think of this when times are tough, but you wouldn't have looked at it in the earlier section, now would you? (smile)
An Old Mules Answer A parable that helps us to remember to take it one day at a time, or is it one shovelful at a time?
Graveside Vision: What God showed me at my niece's graveside.
(click on title to link to more information at Amazon.com)
That's How the Light Gets In, by Donald Harris The international spiritual movement that this book is about changed me forever. I have been involved with them for years.
The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How To Be One, by Peter B. Kyne If self-pity is tempting for you, here is a story about someone who didn't go down that path. Wow!
Greatest Salesman in The World, by Og Mandino Going through the scrolls in this story helped me during a tough time.
Man's Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl Read what this psychologist learned while in Nazi death camps about people, when they truly had lost everything. You think you have it tough? He had it tougher!
Touchstones: Daily Meditations for Men This has helped me to slow down and give others (and me) more of a chance, teaching me that there was more to being me than I understood from my upbringing.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey The best book anywhere on how to change for the better, and why it is a good idea to even try to be more than you are now.
Serenity: A Companion to 12 Step Recovery. Boy, does this fill some gaps between the 12 step movement and the church-going movement. The fastest growing groups in the world do not recruit, and nobody wants to join. GO FIGURE!