For a long time it seemed to me that real life was about to begin, but there was always some obstacle in the way. Something had to be got through first, some unfinished business; time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it downed on me that these obstacles were my life!
Webster's dictionary defines an obstacle as "an obstruction that prevents a forward movement or course of action." Do you ever feel restricted by an obstacle - something that stands between you and what you define as a complete and whole life? Do you see the pathway of your life leading to a point at which you will one day arrive, where all obstacles will disappear? If you do, you are in for one long pathway. I don't know of anyone who doesn't have obstacles of one kind or another in their life. As a matter of fact, my observation is that often those who appear to have the greatest challenges in life, with apparent obstacles far larger than my own, seem to see their own challenges not as obstacles at all but rather as growth opportunities for forward movement. Thomas Carlyle wrote: "The block of granite, which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong." In other words, obstacles are all a matter of perspective. Do you see the challenges in your life as obstacles or opportunities? Do you see them through the eyes of a victim or a victor? Either way, let's free ourselves from any illusions: we shall always have challenges. How we see them is our choice.
Excerpt from The Art Of Being by Dennis Merritt Jones, D.D.