Challenges

Grant Montgomery: On the Challenges We Face

Sometimes the greatest cause for gratitude lies concealed in the challenges we face, for they help to make us stronger and more compassionate human beings.

It is relatively easy to feel grateful when good things are happening and life is going the way we want it to. Even then, we often take things for granted.

A much greater challenge is to get in touch with gratitude when we are going through a difficult time, or life is not going the way we think it should. At these times, we are more likely to be feeling hurt‚ confused‚ or resentful. It’s interesting‚ though, that after going through a difficult time, in retrospect we can often see that there was something important and necessary about that experience.

We may not arrive at this perspective until months or even years later, but eventually we can see that there was some important lesson learned, a deepening of our wisdom, an awakening‚ or perhaps a new door that opened in our life as a result of events that seemed negative at the time.

For example, the loss of a job may have led us to spiritual or emotional healing. The ending of a relationship may give us the opportunity to discover that we need time alone‚ or it may pave the way for a more satisfying partnership. At that point, we may begin to feel grateful that life unfolded as it did.

Gratitude changes the way we view life and ourselves. Difficult situations that were once intolerable and seemingly unchangeable, transform. The moment we feel gratitude, the situation begins to lighten, and then we can see the opportunities to create change. We feel better about ourselves and our ability to positively affect our environment and our world. Depression lifts, conflict turns to harmony, and stress releases to peace. When gratitude becomes a way of life, success, happiness, and health become the norm.

Especially living in our urban jungle culture, taking time to reflect on our challenges, ideally in a nature setting, is something we as beings require to feed our souls. So often the beauty of nature will bring us a peace, and make any problems we have so small compared to the grandiose of God’s creation.

Read In Our Darkest Hours

 

Grant Montgomery is Director of Programs for Family Care (FCF)