Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Times Are Tough ... This Too Shall Pass

We all have days that seem endlessly difficult and hard. On these days, it is as if the odds are stacked against us and we just can't get a break as one challenging ituation follows another. We may feel like we're standing in the ocean being hit by wave after wave, never able to get a full breath or keep a steady footing, becoming more exhausted with each strike.

Sometimes it's necessary, or worthwhile, to remain committed and work our way through. Other times, the best idea is to go home and take the breath we need in order to carry on.

If the only choice is to get through it, a hard day can be a great teacher. It will eventually end and we can look back on it, taking pride in the determination, courage, and ingenuity it took to hold our ground. We may also look back and see how we could have done things differently. This knowledge will be valuable when we face the inevitable challenges that lie ahead of us in our life.

It is as these challenges present themselves that we must trust our spiritual guidance and discern wether to work through it or take a different course.

Very often, a timely retreat is the best way to ensure a positive outcome. Allowing some quiet time to listen to the Spirit inside us can remind us that external circumstances are not the whole picture.

Once we catch our breath and re-center ourselves, we find a true perspective. We begin to see that what we perceived as hardships can actually be opportunities.

Sometimes all that's needed is a good night's sleep. No one is immune to having a hard day and these are usually the times we can learn the most. If we can find it in our hearts to examine the day, and maybe make one small change in perception, we can ease our pain and greet the next day with ease, remebering that the bad times too shall pass, as shall the good times.

As the story has been recorded;

One day Solomon decided to humble Benaiah Ben Yehoyada, his most trusted minister. He said to him, "Benaiah, there is a certain ring that I want you to bring to me. I wish to wear it for Sukkot which gives you six months to find it."

"If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty," replied Benaiah, "I will find it and bring it to you, but what makes the ring so special?"

"It has magic powers," answered the king. "If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy."

Solomon knew that no such ring existed in the world, but he wished to give his minister a little taste of humility. Spring passed and then summer, and still Benaiah had no idea where he could find the ring. On the night before Sukkot, he decided to take a walk in one of the poorest quarters of Jerusalem. He passed by a merchant who had begun to set out the day's wares on a shabby carpet.

"Have you by any chance heard of a magic ring that makes the happy wearer forget his joy and the broken-hearted wearer forget his sorrows?" asked Benaiah.

He watched the grandfather take a plain gold ring from his carpet and engrave something on it. When Benaiah read the words on the ring, his face broke out in a wide smile. That night the entire city welcomed in the holiday of Sukkot with great festivity.

"Well, my friend," said Solomon, "have you found what I sent you after?"

All the ministers laughed and Solomon himself smiled. To everyone's surprise, Benaiah held up a small gold ring and declared, "Here it is, your majesty!"

As soon as Solomon read the inscription, the smile vanished from his face. The jeweler had written three Hebrew letters on the gold band: gimel, zayin, yud, which began the words "Gam zeh ya'avor" -- "This too shall pass."

At that moment Solomon realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

So, we must remember that our tough times shall soon pass, and give thanks for that. We must also remember, however, that our good times shall also pass, and so we must give great thank for those times and share them.

With love & light,


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