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 approached by a stranger. Being quite famous Dr. Peale was accustomed to having people approach him on the street, except this time the desperate man rushed up and grabbed him by the lapels exclaiming, “Please Dr. Peale, you have to help me, I’ve got some problems, and I just can’t handle them any more!” Dr. Peale said, “If you will let go of my coat, I will take you to a place that is full of people that don’t have any problems.” The man, greatly encouraged, replied enthusiastically “Sir, if you could do that I would give everything I own to go there!” Dr. Peale said, “You may not want to go there once you see the place. Come along, it is just a couple of blocks away.” Dr. Peale led the man to Forest Lawn Cemetery. Pointing, Dr. Peale said, “Look, there are tens of thousands of people in there, and I can assure you my good man, 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 tend to agree with that. 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 alive. The deal breaker is how you approach your problems. 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. My opportunity, which I must admit as having perceived as a problem for several years, is caring for my beloved wife, Nancy. Afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease she admittedly is a challenge, but a challenge and an opportunity for me to grow, and to be something I don’t believe I could have been without the “problem.” Remember, the only people that don’t have any problems are dead, so be thankful for your challenges. Thank you God, for calling me out, beyond myself, Amen.
Charles Towne is a longtime resident of Apopka, a published author and member of Inspire Church.