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Turn "Burial Material" into Steppingstones

A story is told of how an old donkey turned misfortune into opportunity. The donkey had given its owner, a farmer, service for many years. When it was too old to do anything, the farmer thought of putting it to permanent sleep, but he was not ready emotionally.

However, as the donkey was grazing it fell into a pit. The farmer thought, "Oh, well, since the donkey is just waiting for death, I will just cover it with soil instead of trying to help it out of the pit." He shoveled soil into the pit. When the donkey felt something strange on its back, he shuck his body and the soil fell off. The farmer continued shoveling soil and the donkey continued shaking it off its back. Soon the donkey, steeping on the soil that was supposed to bury it, got from the pit and lived its full life.

In life, setbacks are sometimes setups for a new beginning. Storms of life make us develop wings to fly above the clouds. When we are at the bottom of the valley in our life is when we learn how to build a ladder to climb to the mountain peak. It's that deep darkness of the night that causes us to search for and light a candle.

One sure thing in life is that no one is exempt from life storms. As you read this piece, the material to "bury" you may be divorce, or being laid off, illness, betrayal or the death of a loved one. Your children may be dancing into a different dream beat, making wrong choices.

To turn stumbling blocks into steppingstones, we must learn to cry when bad things happen. Even Christ Jesus cried (John 11:35). Suppressing our hurt delays the onset of the healing process. Tears call for internal and external help. Cry, but not forever.

We must consciously refuse to blame self, others or God for our calamity. Many and Martha blamed their brother's (Lazarus) Death on Jesus' four days delayed arrival. When bad things happen and our emotional balance is fluctuating, we naturally look for who is responsible and blame them. However, blame, the product of bitterness keeps us focused on the hurting past instead of building hope from the spotless future.

When bad things happen, adhering to our faith does determine how strong we will be thereafter. At this time, those we associate with will either help us heal with their encouragement or hurt us more with their negative perspectives.

Getting involved in activities that help you develop in your spiritual, professional and personal aspects and/or helping others with similar or worse experiences will kickoff our healing. Big projects, however, can be broken to manageable pieces that can be accomplished on short-term basis.

Ask for guidance. We grow from learning. It's good to learn something we many never use than to wish we had learned something that we ignored. Listen to your conscious and the advice of good friends. Look for the doors of opportunities that may be opening.

Stick with good works. NEVER quit doing what is good for your soul, mind, body and relationships. Life has ups and downs. The experiences of the down time help us empathize with others and the ups of life give us something to live up to.

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