This guy’s walkin’ down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out.
A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you! Can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on.
Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole; can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. “Hey, Joe, it’s me. Can ya help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole.
Our guy says, “Are ya stupid? Now we’re both down here.”
The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.”
— Leo McGarry (John Spencer), The West Wing
Life’s challenges are amazing events. We don’t see them as amazing while they’re happening, but always in retrospect…quite astonishing.
Challenges occur exactly when they are supposed to; sometimes, right when we don’t seemingly need them. But we do.
We need our challenges in life for two main reasons: to better ourselves and then to help others.
Through the process of overcoming our challenges we learn key information about ourselves (how we handle situations effectively and how to improve communication are two that stand out for me). Resolutions are not always the way we envisioned them to be at the start, and how we deal with that truth is also a growing experience.
But something even more amazing happens.
We become this super-magnet. Someone else will enter our lives, attracted to something about us. And then we discover that they are going through a similar struggle that we have already overcome (or on our way to overcome).
And then we jump in the hole.
Because we know the way out. This is the second reason why we have challenges in our lives. We need to overcome them for ourselves so that later, we can help and encourage others to do the same. This is what I call “hope”.
Don’t give up on your struggles. Someone else will need you later.