Call – Opelika-Auburn News
Some years ago I decided to start calling
my problems opportunities. That was a course correction that helped me
immensely. It became especially helpful while working with my colleagues on a
church staff to see every problem as an opportunity.
When problems arise we are tempted to
feel sorry for ourselves. We say, “We had worked so hard and now things are not
turning out like we expected.” Self-pity can take over and that makes our
problems even worse.
A better response is to ask, “How can we
turn these problems into opportunities to improve what we are doing?” People
will help you tackle a tough job. But they are not inclined to share your pity
Obstacles are in every person’s path. We
may stumble over them but if we work patiently and intentionally, we can turn
our obstacles into stepping stones.
We all fail and we succeed only by
getting up – again and again. Henry Ford called failure “simply the opportunity
to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
As a new pastor I helped an old man
remove an old wooden cross from the church lawn. He misled me. He said the old
cross was an eyesore. My wise associate told me I had made a mistake, that removing
the cross would be unsettling to the people who had put it there. We secured a
new wooden cross and planted it where the old one had been. My problem became
Winston Churchill said “The pessimist
sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in
every difficulty.” He was right. The optimist will look for the opportunity in
Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown
into a prison that was more like a dungeon. Did Paul whine about the problem of
his imprisonment? No, he saw it as an opportunity to tell the prison guards
about his friend Jesus. The Bible says that at midnight Paul and Silas were
singing! Imagine that! Singing instead of whining about their problems!
Singing helps us see problems as
opportunities. One of my favorite songs is “Until Then.” The words and the
music were composed by Stuart Hamblen. I love the way he reminds us that
heartaches can become stepping stones. Expect a blessing when you read
heart can sing when I pause to remember
heartache here is but a stepping stone
trail that’s winding always upward,
troubled world is not my final home.
The chorus is my philosophy of life. I love
it. I will sing it at the drop of a hat. Hamblem
captures my heart when he says in the face of problems we should “carry on with
joy” and keep on singing until the Lord calls us home.
Be careful when you read the chorus. You may
break out singing and find a way to see your problems as opportunities!
But until then, my heart will go on singing,
Until then, with joy I’ll carry on;
Until the day my eyes behold the city,
Until the day God calls me home.
Glory! + + +