“Hold on my brother don’t give up
Hold on my sister just look up
There is a master plan in store for you
If you just make it through
God’s gonna really blow your mind
He’s gonna make it worth your time
For all of the trouble you’ve been through
The blessing’s double just for you”
Donald Lawrence and Tri-city Singers: The Best is yet to come
This song has been on my mind for the last few weeks, and it won’t let go. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been reviewing my life and that of some persons dear to me. This examination has led me to a few conclusions about life’s circumstances and the varied experiences we have throughout our journey.
Life tries you. The moment you are about to relax and begin to enjoy your experiences, something comes your way and you seem to be fighting again. It’s as though you are never really totally able to just let go. You have “Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14) in every sense of the word.
I was fortunate to be a part of a seminar on creative writing lectured on by Colin Channer, an esteemed Jamaican author. I asked him why is it that so many horrible things tend to happen to characters. His response was that ‘Art imitates life and the book would be boring if the characters were not challenged!’. I guess it’s the same way we ought to view life – without challenges, it would be boring indeed (Though I’m sure some of us wouldn’t mind a little boredom now and then!). It’s an undulating road, full of highs, lows and the in-betweens (those times when things are steady and are not bad or good, just okay).
In searching for more concretised answers, I read a number of books (Self help and mostly the Christian Holy Bible) and pondered the lives of those around me. Every single one, while using a variety of expressions and situations, pointed me to one salient conclusion: each test and trial was actually preparing them for something better, whatever that something turned out to be. This conclusion was most times arrived at in retrospect.
Little comfort, it would seem, for those who likes their answers NOW. But I recognize, and certainly others will admit, that we really would be struggling against the tide, like the salmon, if we choose not to accept this fact. And most of us do not have the muscles nor the gumption for it. Challenges, though extremely difficult at times, are part and parcel of being alive and serves a purpose. Imagine the opposite – not being alive – and I’m sure we all prefer to face it! In choosing to acknowledge this, we win, because its certainly less exhausting. Instead, we can focus our energy at finding solutions and navigating the plain as best we can, with minimum casualties.
Are we in charge of this ‘Master Plan’ that some persons postulate has been charted for our lives? It really depends on who you ask. The fact is, whether you believe in a supreme being or not, we all have to make decisions that will ultimately direct our path. The thing is to make the choices that will garner the best results for you and yours, because sitting on your hands (so to speak) and living by default can only make things harder.
If you are a logical thinker, you do know that every decision, leads to another decision and a particular set of results. Sometimes we may find ourselves in choppy waters (difficult situations). This may be because these circumstances and situations are dependent on or significantly influenced by others. Even so, it is our reaction and how we choose to view or manage the experience that will ultimately decide if it becomes positive or negative.
We ought to choose to see and hope for the best. The bible highlights for us the merits of faith in difficult situations. Hebrews 11 (the entire chapter) outlines a number of experiences that various characters had and how things turned out for them. If you are not a Christian, examine biographies of persons who became successful despite the extremes that life threw their way.
We have to stand up to the weight of life’s challenges and build the muscles we need for the rest of the journey. It’s either that, or waste away in despair. See it as something exciting that is preparing you for a great reward that you will savour in the end.
Though it tarries, work, watch and wait for it. The best is yet to come.