By Charles Towne
The story is told of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale as he was walking down a street in New York City one day he was suddenly accosted by a stranger.
Being quite famous Dr. Peale was accustomed to having people approach him on the street, except for the fact that this time the desperate man rushed up and grabbed Peale by the lapels exclaiming in a frantic voice, “Please Dr. Peale, you have to help me, I’ve got some problems, and I just can’t handle them anymore!”
Dr. Peale said, “If you will let go of my coat my good man, I will take you to a place that is full of people that don’t have any problems.”
The man, greatly encouraged by this promise of help, replied enthusiastically “Sir if you could do that I would give everything I own to go there, and I will be forever in your debt!”
Dr. Peale said, “You may not want to go there once you see the place, but come along, it is just a couple of blocks away.”
Dr. Peale led the man to Forest Lawn Cemetery where, with a sweep of his hand Dr. Peale Pointed at all of the grave markers, and said, “Look, friend, there are tens of thousands of people in there, and I can assure you that not one of them has any problems!”
It has been said that the true judge of a man’s character is in direct relationship to the size of his problems and how he handles them. I agree with that wholeheartedly. Always keep in mind that only dead people are trouble-free, therefore, having troubles in your life is a pretty good indication that you are still alive.
The deal breaker for each and every one of us is how we approach those hard places in life, as insurmountable problems, or as challenges?
Some people view their problems as detrimental to their lives, others see problems as challenges, and once seen in that light, they are no longer problems but opportunities.
Perhaps you have had experiences in your life that made you stronger. I know I have. Perhaps, just perhaps, those experiences made you more aware, opened your eyes to new opportunities that possibly changed your life.
My opportunity, which I must admit to having perceived as a problem for several years, is caring for my beloved wife, Nancy.
Afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease as well as having survived multiple sclerosis for over forty years has admittedly been a challenge I would not have chosen, but such a challenge has offered me an incredible opportunity for personal growth, and to be something I don’t believe I would have been without the “problem.”
Remember, the only people that don’t have problems are dead, so be thankful for your challenges.
Thank you, Papa God, for calling me out beyond myself, far beyond my depth, in service to my sweet wife. And thank you for giving me the ability and the stamina, both physical and emotional, to endure what some could possibly call the impossible task. Thank you for your wonderful love Father, and for the opportunity to bless others with a smile and a kind word of hope and encouragement. In Jesus wonderful name I ask it, Amen
Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.