August 31, 2010

Life Happens

READY8 “The difference between school and life? In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” ~ Tom Bodett

AIM8 You know, sometimes life just happens. Last week, my daughter woke up with extreme leg pain. She didn’t have any accidents, she didn’t have growing pains but yet my non-wussy girl was in tears. Needless to say, day three of the new school year was spent at the pediatrician’s office, getting an x-ray of her leg and resting on the couch. There goes her perfect attendance award! Yep, life happened. The good news is that they think she simply strained her hip and it was treated with ibuprofen, rest and hot baths. Great, it was totally manageable and her condition improved as the week progressed. Unfortunately, a dear friend of mine had a more serious “life happens” moment a few weeks ago. Her son is a senior in high school this year. He is a star athlete and a starter on a high-profile, Division 1 football team in Ohio. During pre-season practice, he was struck during a play by a teammate which resulted in a concussion. After six hours in the emergency room, they were faced with the reality that his football career was most likely over. He had just experienced his third concussion in two years and therefore, for his future health and safety, he was going to have to give up one of the loves of his life: football. Life happened for that young man.

Life happens to all of us every single day. It looks different to each one of us. It could be a flat tire, a bad hair day, a grumpy boss, a bad report from the doctor, an unexpected bill in the mail, a missed promotion; you name it, life looks like many things. However, it’s not so much what truly happens to us, as it is how we respond when life happens to us. When things don’t go your way do you throw a temper tantrum, have a pity party for yourself or scream and shout in anger and frustration? Or, when things don’t go your way do you reflect on the bigger picture, pray for God’s clear direction or cry it out and move on? More than anything, we simply need to understand that life is going to happen to each one of us at some point in our lives. How we handle ourselves may contribute towards the success or failure of the outcome of our experience. Not to mention, others are always observing our behaviors and how we react to the situations we encounter in life. Most of us would choose to respond in a positive manner if we can keep our wits about us and remember we are influencing others with our responses. Let me encourage you to see your challenges as opportunities to grow your character and develop the areas in your life where you are weak. Overcoming your character flaws will allow you to become a stronger individual, to become a better role model and to become a person of excellence. Yep, life just happens, and when it does, I hope you’ll be ready.

FIRE!8 When life happens to you this week, pause for a moment. Take a deep breath. Put your life in perspective. More than likely, that brief, silent moment will allow you to keep your response positive and full of hope.

Be Excellent!

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