Yesterday one of my cousins challenged my sister and another cousin to join the National Novel Writing Month Camp. It is a month-long challenge to write a 50,000 word story in the month of August. To further make the matter interesting, we are picking a random writing prompt and running with it to see how we all take it. While it could be a bad idea to drop my current work in progress (currently growing at the 52k mark) it seems a fun way to spend some time. Especially since I will have time on my hands during the imminent move. In the vein of using a writing prompt I decided to turn the next post I read into a post that fits the theme of my blog. That post happened to be Frog Spotting. In FS, the author tells of running a 5k race and the things that went wrong at the start. Her rhythm was thrown off, her pace was not what it should be, Murphy's Law ruled the day. Then at the turn around point, she met some other runners. One needed encouraging, then the other. As she ran/walked with them the surroundings began to be apparent. Things they had noticed, or more likely saw as "background noise scenery" before became more vibrant and noteworthy. Especially the smallest of details.
This reminded me of a story I read in an email this afternoon. It is more than likely apocryphal, but poignant nonetheless. A man had a pretty good life until he was shipwrecked on a deserted island. After some time he had made a nice, comfortable hut, and had a decent existence all things considered. Until the night his hut burned down. It was a huge fire, consuming the house, all the tools, everything the man had scrounged and created to make life bearable. The next day as he sorted through the ashes he was mad at God asking why he had destroyed the only thing he had. As he looked up, there at the shore was a boat weighing anchor. The man was saved. He rushed to the beach and splashed through the water to meet the skiff coming to investigate and the captain told him that had they not seen his fire they would have kept cruising by.
A broken iPod, non-running stopwatch, and losing our motivation are small things compared to where we lie, but no less important at times. We may not immediately understand why they are taken from us, but the why is less important than the that. Because these comforts are taken from us it slows us down to His pace. It puts us where He wants us. It allows us time to see the beauty of the firmament that He has put here for us. We may not like it, we may be uncomfortable, but in the bosom of His will is the best place for us.
What troubles have you undergone to come out stronger on the other side? Better still, what pains are you experiencing now? Comment below.