Sunday, January 3, 2010

Adversity's Bloom

It is rough and rutty, this rod I carry. It is lifeless and cold. Its splinters snag like spurs as I grasp it in my hand, yet it cannot be released. My hands, though once smooth and supple, have now been calloused and warped by the thorns of this bitter stake, called Adversity.

I cannot see the rugged terrain beneath my feet, and so I clamber over hollows and hurdles, scattered along the way, holding the rod as far from my body as my outstretched arms can bear. Step by step, I continue, my rod's weight increasing with every step taken.

For a while, out of stubborn disdain, I continue trying to avoid the hurt caused by Adversity's spiteful shards. I scoff at the sight of it, which serves only as a reminder of the hindrance it presents.

I have been told, however, that it is necessary, that I cannot complete the task ahead without it. That soon, I will change this gore for glory. I have been assured that I may trust the One from Whose Hand it came. The ache, the throb, the sting... each is working together for a good that I cannot yet see.

Increasingly, I become weary of carrying on. In hopeless contempt, I hang my head as with one step, I am brought nearly to my knees in despair. My despondent heart is giving out, yet, almost instinctively, I thrust the rod's foot to the ground, bearing down on it with all of my weight.

When brought close and embraced, the rod I had struggled to bear now offers support as I rise once more to my worn feet. Although, at once, I had seen it only as an instrument of pain, Adversity now brings peace.

Suddenly, a new appreciation overwhelms me. I see this rod as an opportunity for triumph rather than torture. I step forward, and although the weight of the rod is still felt, it no longer poses a limitation. With every twinge of pain, a new strength is found, giving hope and courage for the step that follows.

In wonder, I examine the rod beneath me, it's twisted form reminding me of my wrenched heart. My eyes pool with tears as I discover, carefully tucked away within the notches and knots of my rod, a single, solitary bud.

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