Everybody goes through seasons of life. Some seasons are great, and some are difficult. Through it all, however, we get to decide how we react. It’s always our choice.
Do we persevere through our challenges? Do we choose gratitude? Do we choose happiness?
Some of the most admired people in the world had to endure tremendous hardship for a season of their life, or, in some cases, most of their adult life.
• Nelson Mandela served 27 years in prison. Imagine the mental battle of 27 years in prison, and the choices he had to make to persevere. Was it hard at times? You bet. But he used the time to develop his mind and character.
• Martin Luther King was arrested 26 times, and that only scratches the surface of the challenges he and many others had to endure in the fight for equality.
• Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to six years in prison after organizing a non-violent protest that turned violent. Gandhi was horrified by the violence yet served his sentence and continued to inspire his people and his movement.
• Hellen Keller learned to appreciate so much of life, and accomplish more than most, despite not being able to see or hear from the age of two.
• Lance Armstrong launched the Livestrong movement after battling cancer.
• Lily Storm endured failure time after time early in her career before finally achieving breakthrough.
The list can go on and on. And you might ask, what does this have to do with gratitude?
As we face the challenges that life can bring our way, we need to make a choice about how we’re going to react. If we can’t keep hope, accept what is, and experience gratitude, it’s hard to move forward.
We can’t always know what the current season of life is going to provide for us later.