by Ton Pascal
How many times have you asked yourself, 'why is this happening to me?' or 'why is God punishing me?' Whatever word you give to your problem and choose to search on the net for an answer or explanation, you will find thousands of places that claim to be able to free you from all of your tribulations.
You name it, there is a book, a site, and a 'guide' over there that will give the answers you desperately need. Some of them are sincere, and are honestly done to inspire hope and to support you in achieving a positive life and self-esteem. What they all have in common is that 'you hold the answer to all your questions, and the solution to all of your troubles.'
Maybe you don't even believe in God but nevertheless when something bad hits you over the head you question 'who, or what, is the power that threw me that punch?' Have you ever thought about first asking yourself the answer to that thorny question? Remember that little voice that is constantly nudging you? Well, that voice can be your best friend and advisor, or your worst enemy. If you believe in God or a force that connect and guides our dimensions you will pray and try to find comfort in your beliefs. If not, the road will be long, wide and hard. As one of these believers I pass to you this simple advice, if God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.
What I call spirituality is not going to church every Sunday or joining any mystic group. Spirituality is being responsible for all of your thoughts and actions. The forces of the universe will take care to coordinate these thoughts and actions and transform your life and the world. As opposed to advising you on how to live your life, I will entertain you with this short story I heard a long time ago. Especially now at this difficult period of global uncertainty, when we are exposed to so much suffering, misunderstanding and pain, it has an even more poignant feel.
A young and successful executive was traveling down a neighborhood street, going a bit too fast in his new Jaguar. He was watching for kids darting out from between parked cars and slowed down when he thought he saw something. As his car passed, no children appeared but instead, a brick smashed into the Jag's side door! He slammed on the brakes and backed the Jag back to the spot where the brick had been thrown.
The angry driver then jumped out of the car, grabbed the kid he saw standing by and pushed him up against a parked car shouting, 'What was that all about and who are you? Just what the heck are you doing? That's a new car and that brick you threw is going to cost a lot of money. Why did you do it?'
The young boy was apologetic. 'Please, mister....please, I'm sorry but I didn't know what else to do,' He pleaded. 'I threw the brick because no one else would stop...' With tears dripping down his face and off his chin, the youth pointed to a spot just around a parked car. 'It's my brother, ' he said, "He rolled off the curb and fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him up."
Now sobbing, the boy asked the stunned executive, 'Would you please help me get him back into his wheelchair? He's hurt and he's too heavy for me.'
Moved beyond words, the driver tried to swallow the rapidly swelling lump in his throat. He hurriedly lifted the handicapped boy back into the wheelchair, then took out a linen handkerchief and dabbed at the fresh scrapes and cuts. A quick look told him everything was going to be okay.
"Thank you and may God bless you," the grateful child told the stranger. Too shook up for words, the man simply watched the boy push his wheelchair-bound brother down the sidewalk toward their home.
It was a long, slow walk back to the Jaguar. The damage was very noticeable, but the driver never bothered to repair the dented side door. He kept the dent there to remind him of this message: 'Don't go through life so fast that someone has to throw a brick at you to get your attention!'
Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.