You too can overcome your challenges

Devon Walker embraces life.  His simplest tasks take minutes, if  not hours to complete, but he faces each day with a smile and inspiration.  He was recognized by ESPN and Disney last evening with the Spirit Award.  You can learn more about Devon’s life through the video below:

Craig Schuff is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He played the guitar and was involved in athletics in high school. One dive into Lake Monona in 2011 change his life immeasurably. I know Craig, primarily through his parents here in Tennessee.  His injury is similar to the injury Devon incurred and he faces the same types of challenges daily.  He is continuing on toward his goal of obtaining a doctorate in Electrical Engineering.

Each of us has daily challenges.  We may face job hardships, family issues, health issues and we get down and sometimes even give up.  These two gentlemen are stellar examples of just how strong the human spirity can be when faced with overwhelming challenge.  Let’s spend some time this morning examining what you can do when “life gives you lemons”.

  1. Understand that things happen to everyone, even the best people
  2. Pray and reflect; never underestimate the power of prayer
  3. Consider what might have happened that would have made the situation even worse
  4. Be thankful that the items in #3 did not occur
  5. Begin to consider the options you have moving forward
  6. Enlist the help of others in developing that list and also in how you can carry out and move forward with these issues
  7. Pray more
  8. Be thankful for what you have

Many of us will never face a challenge that even comes close to the issues these two young men face.  Knowing that we have lesser issues to face, in most cases, give thanks for where you are.  More importantly, remember that adversity affects EVERYONE at some point.  Even those you see who seem to have the perfect life have challenges.  None of us goes through this life unscathed.

Being a sports guy I use the following analogy to keep things in perspective.  If you fail two out three times when coming to bat in baseball, but succeed that third time, you will probably end up in the Hall of Fame.  Let that soak in for just a minute.  I know that I am going to fail, but the real test is not in succeeding, but in what you do when you fail.  Those who have the right mindset will get up, dust themselves off, and get back to the plate.  There are times you may need some help to do this.  Let me say this clearly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but it is a sign of strength.  The truly wise man or woman knows their limitations and seeks counsel or assistance when they reach these limits.

When the dark clouds of adversity gather around you, and your heart is weak and you lack courage, remember that there are those around you who will provide help, comfort and hope for the future.

What adversity have you overcome?

How did you do it?  Who did you enlist to help?

Who are you helping or have you helped when they were down?