“We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.”

— Walt Kelly

I remember, during my in-the-trenches years of child-rearing, seeing a little wall plaque that read, “Lord, grant me the strength to endure my blessings.”  At that point in time, those blessings had names.  They also had opinions, an ability to argue a point worthy of any Philadelphia lawyer, and a way of bringing many sticky, dirty handprints and footprints into my days.  Indeed, they have become the blessings they were born to be; and now my nest is nearly empty.  The words on that plaque still apply, but in a different way.

Life is, as Walt Kelly puts it, filled with insurmountable opportunities.  Just as the days of frenzied motherhood have faded into distant memory as my children have become adults, the seemingly insurmountable challenges that have sometimes entered my life now live in my memory as opportunities that have encouraged me to grow beyond the boundaries that I thought defined me.  It would be nice, at least in the moment of challenge, if we could reach a stage of living where the challenges were done and we could rest comfortably in a state of completeness.  Instead, it seems that the point of being human is to continue to rise to the challenge until life is over.  Otherwise, are we truly alive?

What is fun about growing older is that we have faced enough insurmountable challenges to learn that they really are not so insurmountable after all.  There is something about being challenged and prevailing that strengthens us and gives us the courage to see the next obstacle in our path as an opportunity.  It would be a wonderful and exciting thing if we could hold in our minds and believe in our hearts that each apparent roadblock that comes our way actually is an insurmountable opportunity for growth and learning.  It is through our difficulties that we learn to prevail.  It is through prevailing again and again that we become courageous.  Once we embrace our courage and leave behind any fear of failure, we become free to discover what it is that life offers to teach us rather than needing to guess the outcome ahead of time.  Today I will give thanks for the strength to endure my blessings.

May your day be filled with insurmountable opportunities!