Saturday, November 30, 2013

How Do We Deal With Obstacles: Over? Around? Through?

We lost a big pine in the woods today. It fell right across one of the main paths the dog and I hike every day. And it got me to thinking about obstacles that fall in our path. How do we deal with them? Do we maneuver around them? Do we climb over them? Do we somehow try to push through them? How would I deal with the tree? What I try to find the path around it? Looking around, the area around where the tree fell was full of thorny bushes. So, that did not present a good way of maneuvering around this obstacle. I can't go through it because I don't have a hatchet. There is no way for me to push through the obstacle. At least not right now.

Certainly, time will take care of this particular obstacle. Within a few years, the tree will rot, and it will flatten to the ground so that it is hardly an obstacle at all anymore. That is not unlike issues that come up for me in my life. Many times I have wanted to do something about an issue. I have wanted to climb over it or push through it. But, I could not for whatever reason. And within a certain  amount of time, the issues became smaller and smaller until they were hardly nuisances. And eventually, I made peace with whatever it was that got me so riled up to begin with. And then, it was nothing more than a memory.

Now, I have an excellent memory so it's not like I'm ever going to forget whatever it was. But, that doesn't mean that it impacts my life to any great extent anymore. Just like this tree will eventually decay to the point where we won't even know it was ever there, so will whatever it is that has me so riled up today or tomorrow. Just like eventually the landscape where the tree fell will only register that perhaps the tree had once been there, my personal landscape will perhaps register that there was once an obstacle there but, it will no longer present any significant challenge. With time will come peace.

A friend just reminded me that sometimes, the obstacles end up being the very best thing that could have happened. Certainly, to keep going with the tree analogy, the tree will decay and provide nutrients and minerals for all the plants around it. It will be the compost in which many others thrive. The challenges we face can be the building blocks of a rich future harvest.

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