I was reading a blog yesterday concerning disappointments and struggles that this individual was going through. It touched my heart and made me reflect on my life’s history and personal struggles and road blocks that have happened in my journey through life.
As I went about my day, I kept thinking about this article. I realized something quite spectacular. Possibly, my thoughts being articulated into words in this blog won’t clearly explain in depth of what my mind has brought to light. However, here is an attempt to explain.
I’m almost 50 years old. I am married to the most amazing woman and we have three children. (We also have five grand children). We married quite young and had big dreams of our future. When we married, we both had jobs that paid basically minimum wages. We worked hard each day and month to month we barely could get our rent paid and all other expenses. We dreamed and discussed about the distant day of purchasing our home and raising children. Years went by and we just couldn’t seem to get out of our daily rut. We wondered how everybody else seemed to be able to do it. What was the secret?
Anyways, to make this article shorter, life handed us lots of struggles. We would take one step forward and life would shove us two steps back. Each day seemed to drag on and hand us different hurdles to trip over. Day after day and month after month came new trials. Of course there were good days, In fact great days. Certainly the stresses of life were there but between the good, the great, and the hurdles that tripped us we stumbled through life. Probably our focus may have been on the negatives which make us weary that we weren’t progressing as our dreams were formatted.
Yesterday, I read a blog that reached out and bopped me on the head. I thought about this writers story and wrote her back. I’ve included what I wrote to her at the end of this blog.
Everyone has heard of the dirt road that we all have traveled on that has gotten us to where we are today. An old cliche’ right? As I was thinking about this throughout the day, I realized that the road I traveled upon had been paved behind me. Yes, you read that right. The rough, dusty, pot-holed road of life I had traveled was now a smooth paved highway. How odd indeed. But as I reflected on my past life events, I see no evidence of any dirt road or flicker of dust. Certainly, my memories of the rough times are evident and clear to me but possibly my perspectives and views have changed.
Life’s trails are extremely difficult. Our dreams are real and most seem unreachable. There are times in life when we just want to give up. There are times when we do our best only to be shot down, rejected and dismissed. Life is hard and then it gets harder. I’m not sure if it ever gets easier or we just learn how to fail better. But what are these times if we defined them differently and I wondered how would God define these times?
We as humans being without the majestic scope of life would unfortunately define these life trials as dirt roads. Dirt roads are difficult times and they ought to be. I believe God expects us to endure this roads. These tough times we trip and fumble through I believe are necessary evils. Shamefully, traveling on these wandering dirt roads we have lost focus on our dreams and ultimately our purpose. We feel frustrated and overwhelmed and due to life’s burdens and hardships. Another tragedy often occurs with most of us as well. Our faith in God will also dwindle through these dirt roads of life. Again, we may lose our focus on our spiritually well being and our faith in ourselves. We may even divert to blaming God through these rough times.
Ironically, God is in control and he is the architect of the road in which we travel. During our traveling on this road, we grow. We grow in strength, wisdom, maturity and demeanor. Our spiritual self can grow as well. We capable of re-grasping our hope. We can learn to pray again for God to assist us and we make progress. We fertilize our life and recognize our purpose and develop ourselves as we wonder no longer aimlessly down the dirt road. One day, sometime in our life, we will turn around. We will reflect on who we are and where we came from.
As for my wife and I, we are later in our years and further down this road that we call life. We see what lies ahead of us with more clarity. We have a stronger faith in God and our salvation. We hold a stronger hope then we used to. We have more optimism in our future then we used too.
Why? how did this happen? When we were traveling these dirt roads, through Gods wisdom, we learned and grew through these trials. We were being educated and taught by our daily failings. Learning to fail and then trying again is key. Taking risks and being rejected but by learning to stay consistent and never taking “no” for an answer has built character. Most importantly, beyond everything imaginable, this dirt road as led my wife and I to God. It may be hard to comprehend, but true indeed. The pathway to God is by traveling on a a windy dirt road. Yes, the bible states that the roads in heaven are paved with Gold. (Rev. 21:21). Incredibly, the route to get there is a dusty dirt road. We call this road life.
As I turn and look down this road, through all the unsettled dust and far in the distance I can faintly see that this road is being paved. This road of life that I have stumbled on and fell upon. due to trials and heart ache is being repaired to a flawless smooth asphalt finish. I wondered why I couldn’t have traveled on this smooth surface. Walking through life without all the pains and anguish that had beaten me as I wandered.
It then occurred to me. Was this road of life as bad as I thought. As I traveled aimless and hopeless, winding around and around seemingly without a real destination, God was indeed guiding me to Him. It took the bumps and bruises for me to achieve my successes or better yet Gods successes. My development through life was only possible by traveling on dirt. A road that God was making perfect with a paving crew just behind me just out of my view. Or perhaps, maybe, Gods paving crew was always in perfect view if only I focused sooner. But how would I have known to focus on God if not to have wandered on this beautiful dusty dirt road.
Here is my letter I wrote yesterday responding to a blog:
Hang in there. God is in control. Lot’s of prayers and let Him guide you to your house. Good luck. Life seems difficult as we struggle day by day. The miracle of life is being able to look back and see all the progress you have made.
It’s a funny thing, today and yesterday sure feels like a pot-holed dirt road with no end in sight. Just dust and achy bones and thoughts of just quitting or turning around. But, God in his wisdom, has a paving machine somewhere behind you beyond your scope of vision. You won’t ever see Him paving this bleak roadway your traveling down for quite some time. However, one day, you will look back at these trials and see nothing but smooth roads. It takes time. It takes endurance, and it takes faith. Hang tough through these struggles and gain strength along the way. Soon you will have that house. The house won’t be the trophy though. Your character and lessons learned will be. How will you know when those trophies are awarded? Look back….and see the dirt road has been paved.