Monday, June 9, 2014

No Avoiding Difficult Times

To my son Tommy,

Difficult times are a part of life. Pain, hurt, sorrow, and grief all are a part of life. People try to avoid these difficulties through many aspects and avenues. They say...

  • If I could just get enough money, life wouldn't be difficult. But difficulties find even the wealthiest of people. Sometimes even new difficulties come about only because of wealth.
  • If I could get enough health, life wouldn't be difficult. But maladies can strike no matter how well you take care of yourself. And there is no avoiding the fact that life is a terminal condition after all.
  • If I were more wise, life wouldn't be difficult. Yet the most educated sages of yore could not find a way to avoid all of life's hardships.
  • Certainly, if I have enough faith, God will take away these difficulties. But unfortunately even the most faithful suffer life. You only have to look in a book of Saints to figure out most of them didn't have a life of ease. Sorry. Doesn't work that way.
  • Then certainly love will conquer all. But love is a gift given to us deal and cope with the difficult times and is not a magic bullet that makes them disappear.
So what to do? Do you give up on life because there is no avoiding the difficult times? If wealth, health, wisdom, faith, and love are not enough to guarantee me a life free from pain, then why bother?

Don't give up. Even if life makes you feel overwhelmed and helpless, continue on. Use the tools of wealth, health, wisdom, faith, and love to struggle through. Use these tools to find that moment of clarity and pureness that makes life worth living. Find that moment where you can be the shoulder to lean on. Find that moment where you can help an ailing grandparent or grieving family member. Find that moment where you can forgive no matter how bad you were hurt. Find that moment when you drop down on your knees and pray with all your heart. And find that moment where your son comes up to you and says, for no particular reason at all, "I love you." String a couple of those moments together in your life, and the difficult times will melt away and be forgotten or, better yet, transformed to memories of accomplishments and triumphs in the name of love.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

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