There was once a horse that was walking through the wood one dark night. The horse was somewhat upset that he had to walk home so late, and the darkness made him a little down. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, it seemed the horse fell into a deep dark hole.
The horse screamed out, “Help! It’s is so dark down here, and I can’t get out.” It thought to itself, no one answered. It screamed out once more, “Please, someone help me! I have fallen down into the deep dark pit, and I cannot get out.” Still no answered. It then started panicky to itself “I am never going to get out of this hole.” The horse starts to fight against the darkness. He starts to kicking and screaming, Help me! The dirt is flying everywhere. It kicks and screams more and more!
Before the horse realises it, he is staring at the top of the hole. The horse dug himself out of the predicament he was in. He never gave up.
I attend to an average of hundred persons weekly in my office, offering counselling and spiritual guidance, and I have come to the conclusion that a lot of persons have fallen into the hole like the horse in the story above. While many have given-up, either waiting for death or taking it as their lot or fate, very few are struggling like the horse.
In Numbers 13, twelve men were chosen from the twelve tribes of Israel to go and spy the land of Canaan. All of them were given the same instructions, went through the same experience, saw the fortified cities and the sons of Anak together. But while the challenges they faced made two strong, it finished the other ten.
It is often said that life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. In the words of Vivian Greene, “life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…. it is about learning how to dance in the rain.”
Many people had faced and are still facing adversities in life. Many are faced with hard economic times, sickness, spiritual problems, curses, barrenness, looking for marriage partners, failure in business, in school or in life generally; living in fear because of robbery and kidnappers, joblessness, possession by a demon false accusations etcetera. My conclusion is that ten of every twelve persons I see in counselling room are hopeless and helpless. Many people are not able to cope with the challenges of life. They are not able to weather the storm in life. Confirm what I have just said by listening to people making remarks about their challenges. “I have been hearing that this country will be better, but it is going worse”, “I am finished”, “this is the end of the road” “There is no hope”, etcetera.
Anonymous, “A bad in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make a turn”. In the words of Lord Byron, “Be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. The every beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray.” The good news is that the storm will be over soon.
The Lord inspired me to write on this topic “Causa finita est”. It is a Latin phrase which means “the case is closed” or “the case is finished”.
Circumstances are only bad in the eyes of the person interpreting it. Take a look at your own case. Are there no persons who have been through worse situations and came out of it? What we call closed can be re-opened. In any situation you find yourself, keep faith, keep hope and tell yourself “I can handle it with God on my side”.
In 1982, Steven Callahan was crossing the Atlantic alone in his sailboat when it struck something and sank. He was out of the shipping lanes and floating in his life raft, alone. His supplies were few. His chances were small. Yet when three fishermen found him seventy-six days later (the longest anyone has survived a shipwreck on a raft alone), he was alive. Much skinner than he was when he started, but alive. His account of how he survived is fascinating. His ingenuity – how he managed to catch fish, how he fixed his solar still (evaporates sea water to make fresh) is very interesting.
According to Adam Khan, the thing that caught my eyes was how he managed to keep himself going when all hope seemed lost, when there seemed no point in continuing the struggle, when he was suffering greatly, when his life raft was punctured and after more than a week struggling with his weak body to fix it, it was still leaking air and wearing him out to keep pumping it up.
He starved, was desperately dehydrated, and was thoroughly exhausted. Giving up would have seemed the only sane option. When people survive these kind of circumstances, they do something with their minds that gives them the courage to keep going. Many people in similar desperate circumstances give in and go mad. Something the survivors do with their thoughts helps them find the guts to carry on in spite of overwhelming odds.
“I told myself, I can handle it”, wrote Callahan in his narrative. “Compared to what others have been through, ‘I am fortunate.’ I told myself these things over and over, building up fortitude…”
Job said it all in Job 14: 7-9
“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof are old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in this ground. Yet though the scent of water, it will bad, and bring forth boughs like a plant.”
Like the tree that is cut, your case cannot be closed.
Life is all about striving to get the best and surviving in the mist of adversity. Franklin Roosevelt said; “men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” The story of the horse, the tree and Callahan shows that we can survive if we strive with what fact present. While the tree kept pushing its root into the soil each time the storm ranges, the horse kept struggling until it got out of the pit, while Challahan was always telling himself in the mist of the harzard in the sea, he kept encouraging himself that he would survive it and indeed, he did survive it. In life, we create our fate and not accept the fate thrown at us blindly.
Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes. Life has no other discipline to impose, if we would but realize it, than to accept life unquestioningly. Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defect us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become our source of beauty, joy and strength, if faced with an open mind. Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such.