Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “Five times I received the forty lashes minus one from the Jews. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I received a stoning. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day in the open sea. On frequent journeys, I have faced dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my own people, dangers from Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers at sea, and dangers from among false brothers; toil and hardship, many sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, often without food, cold, and without clothing. Not to mention other things, there is the daily pressure on me: my concern for the churches.” 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Life isn’t fair. Get over it and keep moving.”
I once had a friend named Bob who was a co-worker of mine. As a teenager Bob was athletic and active, a High School football player who was probably going to receive an athletic scholarship to a good college. But then he broke his neck and became a quadriplegic. From that point on Bob spent his life in a motorized wheelchair. He had limited use of his right arm and hand, but that was about it. He needed help with every basic life function except feeding himself.
You might think that Bob’s life was ruined, but you would be wrong. Bob still went to college and earned a Master’s degree in counseling. Over time he learned to drive a specially equipped van, and he got a good job as a Marriage and Family Counselor. He married, adopted two children, sang in the choir at church, and taught Sunday school. Bob was bright and cheerful and he had a great sense of humor. He lived a better and fuller life than a lot of people who have full use of their bodies.
In 2 Corinthians 11:24-28 the Apostle Paul wasn’t whining. He was simply sketching for us a brief summary of the kinds of challenges he encountered over his decades of ministry. This was a laundry list of the kinds of things he had to face, lean into, and push through, in order to live the life he had lived and accomplish the things he accomplished.
It might seem as if Bob and Paul faced unfair obstacles in life, and perhaps they did. Maybe it was unfair, but life is like that. Often the trials we face and the situations we have to deal with are not fair. Okay, but then what? Will you allow the unfairness of it all to stop you from enjoying life and living it well? Will you whine and cry and spend your days reciting for everyone how unfair it is that you have to deal with this challenge or that trial? Or, will you accept the fact that life isn’t fair and you just need to get on with it anyway?
It’s true, life isn’t fair. Now that we’re all in agreement about that, the only thing to do is to put on your big boy pants, get over it, and move forward. We each have a responsibility to deal with life as it is, not as we wish it was.