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Cherish Your Challenge

by David DeFord

Rather than tear us down, our struggles against challenges can fortify us and build us up.

In the midst of times of drought and lowered water tables, trees extend their roots deeper to find life-sustaining water. If a tree has never experienced drought, it must sink its roots several feet deeper before it can get to the needed water. But if it has lived through periodic droughts, its roots are already deep enough to reach the lowered water table.

Likewise, a tree that has never experienced high winds may not have the root strength to withstand intense storms. Trees adapt to wind. They spread their roots broader and deeper in order to establish firmer foundations.

Trees accustomed to drought and high winds are better prepared for the extremes of weather than those whose lives have been pampered by artificial sources of water or have been sheltered from the winds.

They become stronger because of their challenges. These weathered trees live longer, grow taller, and cast shadows on their weaker neighbors.

Every one of us will face periods of drought and intense winds. We will all experience the uncomfor- table, insecure times of adversity. We can shrivel and give in to the challenges, or we can extend our roots deeper to find solutions. We can allow the winds of adversity to uproot us from our dreams, or we can strengthen our foundations and stand firm.

David O. MacKay explained it this way,
  “Sometimes the things that hold you down are the things that hold you up. One time or another we all face adversity’s chilling wind. One man flees from it, and like an unresisting kite, falls to the ground.
   “Another yields no retreating inch and the wind that would destroy him lifts him as readily to the heights.
  “We are not measured by the trials we meet, only by those we overcome.”

I challenge you to use the winds of challenge to lift yourself to greater heights.

Related Quotes

The faster the pitch the farther the ball will fly when we solidly connect. The more difficult the challenge, the greater the reward for meeting it squarely. David DeFord

We are continually faced with great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems. Lee Iacocca

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Arnold Schwarzenegger

When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways—either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. The Dalai Lama

Comfort and prosperity have never enriched the world as much as adversity. Billy Graham

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