Trials Will Help You Develop Your Character…If You Will Just Let Them

It Comes Down to Using Challenges as Stepping-Stones, Not Obstacles

I’ve written about my truck situation a couple of times over the past few weeks. About how when life happens, it’s up to us to deal with the unplanned chaos.

It’s been almost a month since the truck was wrecked. I went through the process of figuring out whether to fix it or replace it. Once I got securely standing on that “stepping-stone” the next was what to replace it with?

I never dreamt that the space between the first stone and second would be so wide.

In the beginning I felt like we had a good start. We found a couple of trucks that I thought were just what I wanted. We reached out and then never heard back.

The space between the stones got wider.

I thought I knew what I wanted…I just wanted a newer version of what I had. Then as we searched more and the discussions continued, I was coming more and more confused about what I wanted and/or needed.

The whole need vs. want question became more and more unclear. What did I need…what did I want?

Then the question of how much I was willing to spend became a bigger part of the question. Originally, I thought I would spend the insurance check plus what I had saved for truck repair or replacement. But, is this going to be the best plan or should I consider borrowing a little and getting a better, newer truck with less miles that will serve me better and longer?

That next stone just continues to get further and further away.

I know that God has my back in this process, but I also have a part in it. It’s up to me to figure out the answers to some of these questions.

Being without a truck makes it hard to do construction work…pulling trailers, moving materials, etc. I think the biggest issue though is just the looming unresolved distraction of the unknown.

Okay…even though it’s a long scary jump to that next stone I have to make some decisions and jump or I will be stuck on this stone. It’s time to put together a list of options in order of priority and get serious about making some decisions.

If I do my part, God will see to it that I make it to that next stepping-stone.

And, I will be better for it.

Life Happens…The Question Is, What Are You Going to Do When It Does?

I Think Flexible Rigidity Is the Best Plan

I am an organizer and planner by nature. I like having a clear direction. A system in place to expedite those wonderfully crafted plans. Knowing what I’m going to do today.

But then…’life happens’.

You know what I mean. You’re going along, following those well-organized plans and then out of nowhere…something comes along and messes the whole thing up.

Just because I’m a planner doesn’t mean that I can’t be flexible, because I can. Sometimes maybe too much. It has always been pretty easy for me to make adjustments when something unexpected happens.

The problem with this is, getting derailed by distractions makes it hard to stay on task. Then of course that plan, that wonderfully crafted plan, is all messed up. For years I have worked to be better at balancing the plan and flexibility.

You may be on the other side and have the gift of doing. The ability to make a decision and move on it. You find it frustrating when the unexpected happens and you struggle to deal with it.

Knowing what character, personality and gifts you have is critical to being prepared in your own way to handle the unexpected.

I first wrote about this topic of being flexibly rigid back in 2016. It’s interesting that the instigation for that post was a brake line leaking on my truck. Now I’m writing about this again today, six years later.

Today’s situation involves brake lines and a whole lot more.

As I was turning into the church this past Sunday morning, I was rear ended. The accident knocked the rear axle out of the truck as well as causing some damage to the truck bed.

First and foremost, I’m grateful that neither I or the other driver were hurt…the vehicles didn’t fare so well.

Looking at the blessings is a great way to put things into perspective.

I’ve had this truck for twenty-two years and have put 523,000 miles on it, toward my goal of a million miles. People who know me, know that I like my truck…but ultimately, it’s just a truck.

Now, let’s look at how flexible rigidity works.

I need to start with considering my options –

  • Is the truck repairable?
  • If so, what’s it going to take to repair it?
  • If so, is repairing it worth the cost?
  • Is the insurance going to total the truck?
  • How much is insurance going to pay?

After I get the answers to these questions and others. I will weigh the options, ask God for His thoughts and make a decision.

He is the Master Planner and it is important for our plans to align with His.

We need to determine what our priorities are before the scheduling fiascos happen. Figure out who we are and what we want, so we are ready when the unexpected happens.

This doesn’t mean that everything will go perfectly, but as we search for clarity and work through each schedule disruption…

We will get a little closer to being who we were designed to be.

Being flexibly rigid is the balance of staying on task while handling things when life happens.