Seeing the Opportunity in Every Challenge of Life

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Date: 20th April 2021

As the quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt goes: “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”  Similarly, it is the choppiness and turbulence of life that enables us to grow from within and become better.  If we wish to produce the finest quality of steel, we need to put it in the hottest fire.  In the same manner, it is the ordeals in life that have the ability to make us the finest possible people.  But this can only happen when we learn to take advantage of the challenges that we face.  On the 20th of the Happiness Challenge, we will discuss how to grow from the problems in life.

First, let us understand—why does God put us through difficulties?  A boy was studying in school—on how caterpillars weave cocoons around them and finally emerge after a period of hibernation, as beautiful butterflies.  One day, as he got out of his home to go to school, he discovered a cocoon hanging from the rosebush in his garden.  He was thrilled.  He would see the miracle of nature unfolding before his eyes.

Every day, while going to school and while returning, he would check his personal cocoon.  One day, sure enough, a tear had begun.  Since it was a Saturday, he began checking the state of the cocoon after every hour.  By midday, the butterfly had started emerging.  He was now transfixed.  The butterfly was tearing apart the cocoon.  But when it was halfway through, it seemed to have gotten jammed.  The cocoon was bobbing up and down.  This boy felt pity.  He ran home, got a pair of scissors, and snipped the cocoon apart.  The butterfly dropped to the ground.  It started squirming.

The boy realized its stomach was swollen, and the wings were shriveled.  He thought this would soon correct itself.  The wings would fill up, and the stomach would shrink.  But he did not know that this would now never be.  It was in that struggle of getting out, that the fluid in the butterfly’s stomach would have been pushed to the wings.  Without that struggle, the butterfly would now remain crippled for life.

In the same way, when we face challenges and difficulties, we look for someone to snip them away, without realizing that they are there for a purpose.  They are God’s way of helping us fill our wings for the divine flight to the ultimate perfection.  Without those challenges, we would ever remain stunted.  So, these problems are there for a purpose.

Watch this interesting video by Swami Mukundananda –

As somebody said, “Life is the continual unfoldment of a being under circumstances tending to press it downwards.”  The nature of life is that it presses you.  You face it and grow emotionally, in your wisdom, spiritually, intellectually, and mentally.  That is why somebody said, “I prayed to God for wisdom; He gave me problems to solve that I may become wise.  I prayed to Him for courage; He gave me dangers to surmount and become courageous.  I prayed to Him for strength; He gave me obstacles to overcome and become strong.  I prayed to the Lord for love; He gave me the poor and downtrodden to serve that I may develop love.  My prayers were answered.”

We have to learn to look on problems as opportunities to grow in our physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual skills.  We will then find that by virtue of facing these problems, we not only become better people, more skillful, but will be able to do better, and thereby feel better.  Having reached so far, let us ponder over how we can take advantage of the problems in our life to move ahead on this divine journey.

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