This morning I was reading about a young man from Idaho who was in a terrible car accident.
He was the only survivor, that is sobering enough, but add to that his injuries are very extensive, many broken bones and brain trauma. His recovery will be long and arduous. I didn't know where to focus my thoughts, on the three young women who died in the accident? What their families were going through? Or on the young man and the difficult road back he will have. One accident, in one minute life goes from happy teenagers driving home from a church function, to unbelievable sadness, and a life change no one saw coming.
It is easy to forget that about life, that it can change so quickly. Just one phone call can alter your life forever. I have never appreciated it when people say, "It could be worse." I don't like that philosophy because whatever trial you are experiencing is valuable, and should not be discounted. We minimize the experience when we say that. It is not easy to embrace the trial, but most healthy minded people eventually do. We are hard wired to survive, so we find ways to not just make the best of the situation, but to make it our finest hour. That is why my motto is,
"There is no education in the second kick of a mule."
It is a great old fashioned, Texas way of thinking. I appreciate the hard times my family has survived....but I am embarrassed to admit I have not embraced my trials as I could have. I have whined, pouted and complained....when I should have been grateful for the amazing blessings I do have. So when I read about the young man from Idaho, or the people who died in Joplin Missouri from the tornado, or friends I know who are going through difficult times, I know it is time. It is time to change, to find a way to avoid being miserable, a course correction of sorts. John Longden wrote years ago about time. He said,
"I refuse to waste my valuable time. Today has one thing in which I know I am equal with others, Time...all of us draw the same salary in seconds, minutes, hours, 24 golden hours each day. Today I will not waste my time because the minutes I wasted yesterday are as dead as a vanished thought. Today I refuse to spend time worrying about what might happen. I am going to spend my time making things happen."
Isn't he so right about worrying about what might happen, and isn't it so inspiring to believe you can make things happen? Earth life is tricky, it is filled with all kinds of road blocks, problems and obstacles. And it could be tempting to think the odds are too great and simply give up. When we hear the news, it is all bad. The economy has kicked our collective butts, and everyone has been affected. Instead of retreating and being hopeless, it is time to pick up the gauntlet. It is time to start a business if you can't be hired. It is time to lend your resources to others when you can. In essence it is time to realize how powerful we are, together, and how much of a difference we can make, together....To simple believe and be hopeful.
President Dieter Uchtdorf said, "Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness".
I believe that. I know that when one person refuses to see a half empty cup they inspire the next person, and the next and the next. That is what hope is.
Can't this be our finest hour?
I come from a long line of survivors......I just forgot that for a while.