One of the greatest blessings in life, and yet one of the greatest challenges, is that nothing stays the same. Change, both positive and negative, can be stressful, but we usually experience them quite differently. When change is rewarding, exciting, results in our tanks being filled, spirits being lifted, an area of our life moving forward . . . all is right with the world. We’ve caught the wave and wish we could endlessly ride the surf. How different it is when we encounter change that disappoints, brings sadness or grief, deflates a dream, hurts us inside or out. We don’t want it to continue. We want the waters to level off before we are overcome by the swell. We breath in deeply, exhale slowly. We find ourselves yearning for the discomfort or worse yet, the debilitating pain to end. We struggle to get our bearings, to once again feel sure-footed, to be secure and safe. We reflect on days gone by when we complained about the mundaneness of it all, and promise ourselves that never again will we take everyday life for granted. We make a deal to be forever grateful for the simple things, if only life will return to normal. Our anxiety escalates as we consider if we have what it takes to overcome what lies ahead.
Victor Frankl, holocaust survivor, once said: “He who has a why can bear any how.” Not having any grasp on the rationale behind the creation of the death camp, did not impede Frankl from living through the most horrendous of experiences. Surviving occurred because of his love of family and fellow humankind. Like Victor Frankl, the ‘how’ of getting through life’s difficult chapters is determined by the ‘why’ that drives us. The single mom who works two jobs, is exhausted, and is still barely able to pay the monthly bills, perseveres because she wants a better future for her children. The why of what she does makes the how of what she does tolerable. The stage four cancer survivor fights with every ounce of his being to live at least until his son’s high school graduation. The why of what he does makes the how of what he does endurable. The believer strives to know and live out God’s calling on her life, does so because of her love for her heavenly father. The why of what she does makes the how of what he does sustainable.
We all need to know the ‘why’. It’s hard to make it unless we do. We must write it on our hearts but keep it within easy reach when we need a reminder. ‘How’ we get through it is only possible if we know the ‘why’ it is important for us to get through it. So, do you know your ‘why’?