What do you do when it seems that your whole world is falling apart and you feel like giving up? It’s easy to tell somebody else what to do, but this week as I pondered some aspects of my own situation, I was reminded of a story about a farmer who owned an old mule which had fallen into a well.
After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathised with the mule but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth saving. So he called his neighbours together, told them what had happened, and enlisted their support hauling dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbours continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back, a thought struck him – all he needed to do was shake it off and use it to step up! This he did, blow after blow…shake it off and step up… shake it off and step up! He repeated it over and over to encourage himself…no matter how painful the blows or how distressing the situation seemed, the old mule fought the impulse to panic… just keep shaking it off and stepping up.
It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered, bruised and exhausted stepped triumphantly over the lip of the well. What seemed like it would bury him, actually helped him… all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
That’s life! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, who knows what the end result will be ! So, refuse to give way to panic, bitterness and self pity – the adversities that come along threatening to bury us have within them the potential to save us. So, don’t just stand there, keep shaking it off and step up – one step at a time! You will win IF you refuse to give up!
Chaplain Ian Whitley