Have you ever felt that sense of crushing disappointment when something didn’t work out in your life? have you ever felt that something great was going to happen, and it didn’t work out the way you expected it to? Have you ever been in a situation where you knew that your prayers had been answered – and then you found that the thing you were relying on suddenly fell apart? Perhaps you felt that your career, or your finances, or your love life were sorted out – and then suddenly they fell apart.
Sh*t happens. It really does. You don’t need me to tell you that. It’s how we respond to it that matters. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s a huge major disaster in your life, or a minor upset.. we find ourselves derailed by changes that we weren’t expecting and didn’t plan for. And if we’re not careful, we can end up spinning into a loop and out of control, struggling to recover. I know how that feels, by the way. I’ve had some crushing disasters in my life – some self inflicted, some inflicted by others, and some under the category of ‘sh*t happens’.
I’m here to remind you that it’s not a question of whether you stumble and fall. It’s not a question of whether you got tripped, or someone let you down. It’s not even about how you feel about life. The winners, the ones who succeed big time, the ones who get remembered, the ones that they write stories about, are the ones who get back up. They are the ones who dig deep down inside themselves to get back in the game, to get back on track, the ones who pick themselves up off the ground, dust themselves off, pick the grass out of their teeth, put their eyes back on the horizon and decide that the game isn’t over.
As Reuben’s father, whose name I forget, remarks in the movie ‘Along came Polly’)
‘Why don’t you let go – move on with your life. It’s not about what happened in the past – or what might happen in the future. It’s about the ride. No point going through this crap if you’re not going to enjoy the ride. And who knows – something might come along that’s even better than you planned’
As we learn to let go of the stuff that gets in our way, the stuff that trips us up, then the future starts to open up to us. St Paul shares his philosophy in the book of Philippians:
“Forgetting what lies behind, and reaching forward to what is ahead, I press on to the prize”
If we let ourselves get stuck in the past, if we let ourselves get bogged down in ‘if only’ then we lock ourselves out from the future that awaits us. If we hold things lightly, if we enjoy the ride, if we learn to go with the flow, if we trust that it’s all working out perfectly – then that’s the thing that fires the engine of creation – and bit by bit your life will start to change.
You hold your own destiny in your hands.