>> Saturday, November 19, 2011
While freezing myself silly at a gas pump the other day, I was reminded how much I hate winter. We had high wind warnings and arctic chill that would have made a polar bear feel right at home, yet necessity and my Honda dictated that I brave the elements.
I generally get back in my car while gassing (because I'm a wuss) but for some unknown reason, I decided to tough it out. Intent on passing the longest 60 seconds of my life, I found myself fascinated by a seagull.
The bird was struggling against Wizard-of-Oz-worthy wind, attempting to go north. He must have been confused: aren't birds supposed to go south this time of year? The elements kept pushing him in the opposite direction, sending him sailing. He would ride the wave for a while, regroup, and then return to his northward path.
He was determined to not give in and stayed focused even though the net result was nil. It was like the proverbial 'one step forward, two steps back' theory. But I could see he was making progress
As I got back into my toasty car, I let out a cheer of encouragement that earned me strange looks from the other customers. And as I putted on my way, I kept thinking about the seagull.
Was he annoyed that the wind deterred his mission? Of course I would never know, but I know what my response would be:
I get frustrated when things don't go my way. (Not a big surprise to many.) I whine, cry, and carry on. Then I rant and ruminate, get depressed, and often fold up in failure. The end result? A puddle of defeat.
What a waste of energy.
Do I give up too easily? Or do I pull myself together and keep going? Do I persevere in the face of adversity, trials, and the normal annoyances of life?
Probably not enough.
Things (i.e. the enemy) come against us in an attempt to knock us off our square. Whether we allow it or not is up to us.
The Bible talks about this in 1st Peter 5.8:
"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour."
But I also need to remember the most important piece of the puzzle: I don't have to do it alone. God's here to help me, even when the updrafts of life spiral me into a nosedive. I need to focus on him and tap into the help he offers me. And even if I get pushed down or momentarily sidetracked, eventually the wind beneath my wings will lift me up if I keep trying.