Playing in the Grit ‘n’ Grind of Life. . .
Last week I wrote about “persistence, perseverance and patience. I called them the triumphant threesome. “Triumphant” because together they are the substance of what brings about success in any life venture!
My youngest biological granddaughter’s journey from Ms. to Dr. is the example I used of how the triumphant 3 served her well given the several obstacles others place in her way.
It’s All About the Obstacles. . .
Or perhaps I should call them “challenges”. If the path to success in any life venture were straight, narrow and without incident, it would not give us what we most need to learn. How to overcome. How to use patience, persistence and perseverance as stepping stones to our desired outcomes. Like most of us, I’m all too ready to see those looming ogres called “challenges” as walls too high to climb and too deep under which to tunnel.
The truth is that without the 3 “tri’s”; we would lack wisdom, fortitude and the maturity necessary to grow up out of thumb-sucking into radiant adulthood. The path is long and arduous; but worth the journey if for no other reason than the wisdom and maturity gained.
Perhaps it’s less about the outcome and much more about the journey. . . But that’s for another day and another post!
Two Good Plans. . .
I’m involved in an ambitious, exciting proposition for our home community. A dear friend invited two of us to join her in passionate pursuit to acquire an abandoned retail store to be re-purposed as a community center with the addition of assisted living-senior apartments on the nearly 10 acre lot.
What seemed impossible months ago now has the light of day shining on it because of a little recognized aspect of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Since April of this year, we have been worked with a professional group that puts together funding packages using a combination of private and public funds to do just what we want to do – re-furbish an old building with lots to commend it as a community and innovation center near our awesome city park.
Over the last 20 years, our community has lost all it’s manufacturing base. The last company (the largest of all) left town about 10 years ago. Thus a dwindling tax base and a hovering spirit of oppression and depression. While some hold to the hope that manufacturing will return (big time); the truth is it will not and we have to look to other economic development opportunities in order to survive. A 21st Century economic development outlook rather than the same ole, same ole.
Friend and I have been making the rounds of the elected officials pitching our vision for the Fairview Community & Innovation Center and Assisted Senior Living facilities. The building we propose to renew is nearly 100,000 square feet and has been vacant for 8 years.
But we are not the only ones with a plan for that property! Seems the Mayor has a project he’s been secretly working on and is peeved with friends and me for interfering with his “secret” plan which is now very much for public view. It’s a good plan; but only benefits one small aspect of the community. And it can be done anywhere there’s available ground!
Push Back and the Art of Overcoming. . .
I call overcoming an art; but in reality it’s more like dredging old tires from a muddy river. Each time friend and I make a presentation; the push back is more palatable. Voices raise a note or two as the local TV channel clips away. And I trudge home fighting off that loosin’ feeling that comes with having done emotional battle with little to show for the wounds.
If overcoming is an “art”; then the drama is found in the 3 tri’s! It’s found in licking the wounds of battle and a good night’s sleep. It’s found in praise and worship as I fall asleep thanking Papa God we will live to fight another day. And I remind myself that I have not yet been asked to spend 3 grueling hours nailed to a crossbar in plain view of family, friends and foe!
So what wisdom have I learned from the grit and grind of life?
- If it’s part of your God-given life purpose; it will have obstacles larger than life with which to deal. Know that going in and choose to accept it as fact!
- Stay in daily – sometimes momentary – contact with the Lord. Start the day with Him and end it with praise and honor as you loose consciousness from the day’s “battles”!
- Stand up tall. The harder the battles the more likely you are to ultimately come out on the winning end. In the meantime, learn to stand up straight; but on the edge of your seat just in case. . .
- Take heart that if you are called crazy or other epitaphs of disgrace; that you are in the company of the Man who took them all and survived. Yes He did! So will you!
- Don’t ever give up or in unless you have a clear word from the Lord to do so. Persist with grace, persevere with grit and let whatever patience you can muster – muster!
- Look for the silver linings in each encounter that seems to be headed into the path of a mighty storm. Rainbows and silver linings are the ultimate stuff of storms once it has passed. And remember this. . . the operative word here is seems. In our eyes, the storm has stopped us on the path. In the Lord’s view of things; it may just be clearing the path!
- Speak winning words. Think winning ways. If compromise, collaboration and coordination are possible; suggest we all take that road so the outcome is a win-win-win.
- If we think we are called to give over and let adversarial forces be victorious; cry hard, drink up and sleep well. As a friend once said; “it’s not over until the fat lady sings“.
- My friends, if there’s no song; it isn’t over!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, M.S.Ed, CEO & Visionary Partner
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
Building a Community for Christian Business Women
Affiliated Women International
The Neighborhood at Facebook