Tabs. Google searches. Microsoft word. Links. Clicks with a faulty keypad. References. Endnote. Confusion and frustration. Minutes and seconds passing by, like they had no business with me.
It was one Thursday morning, I was working on a project that required citing references and all (something like reported speech for a work or research done by someone) and I needed a software for it (not necessarily tho). But I didn’t want to use it cos it seemed complicated, kind of; so I needed to change the settings on Microsoft Word. Basically, I was lost. I decided to check online for solutions to the problem and I had to make various searches to get to the root of the problem and the main solution. Well, this took me some time, trying and trying but eventually I got it.
Now, finding the solution was not the only or main thing that made me happy, twas the skills I learnt. Having to get different problems and solutions separate from the one I was facing, opened me up to some other things and I learnt some skills on how to use the software. That was a lesson for me. I had another way to solve my problem on a faster lane and that was to ask the computer gurus around me (had a bunch of them I could hit the phone with to get some help) but I didn’t. If I had, I would probably have saved some time and gotten the problem solved by them without having to bother myself. But then, I could have missed the fun of tasking and improving my cognitive thinking, brain power and Microsoft skills. Also, the satisfaction of bumping down that challenge and knowing I could also solve the problem myself would have been lost.
Sorry to bore you with all this details, which may seem a little confusing but let me tell you something about myself; I discovered whenever I have someone to help me or go to, I never make an attempt to solve the problem (why the waste of time!)
But then, I also learnt something else; that challenges are meant to stretch us to discover our full capacity and bring out the best us. Even God allows challenges our way to teach us lessons and some warring + character skills(not punishment o), to make us grow and mature into that perfect man He wants us to be. Thing is, if God is always solving our problems, making things so easy for us and giving us a petty-ride through life, we’d never grow and come to the fullness of the best person He created us to be.
Have you ever discovered you could do something like face a crowd, give a speech, lead people and all till you’re pushed to the wall? Well, the eaglet never learns to fly until he is pushed off the cliff by his mother eagle. And though, the process seems scary at first, the eaglet through the fears and probably feeling of neglect, then discovers its innate ability to fly. Note: there are some heights you will never reach if you don’t take up the challenge. And most times that’s what God does. Like the mother eagle, He pushes us off the cliff of comfort, convenience, certainty and even credibility into the atmosphere of seeming fear, uncertainty, discomfort and loneliness, which may seem to blow off our face when we are ‘thrown off’. But in these situations we find our bearing, the innate power and prowess that we have inside to explore worlds of impossibilities above the ground when we decide to face them.
I heard someone say “You can make your circumstances and even the things Satan throws at you to your advantage. You can use those ugly experiences and challenges to grow”. Life’s challenges are like gifts wrapped in ugly, brown packages. The natural response is to ignore and throw them away but when we decide to face them, open those packages, we’d find out there are beautiful gifts of lessons, self-discovery and capacity building entrenched in them. So, the next time you’re faced with a challenging situation, pray, have faith in God but in addition ask God and yourself ‘What would you have me learn from this? What am I supposed to grow into?’ with the mind that the experience is to make you better.
James gives us a word of comfort in James 1:3,4: “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.