I heard this story a couple of weeks ago. It really struck a cord with me.
A farmer’s son once watched with great compassion as a tiny chick stirred within its shell. Slowly the bird made a small crack in the egg, its tiny beak just poking through. And then, weary from its efforts, the bird paused to rest.
Thinking he would help, the young boy pried open the shell with his thumbs, pulling away fragments of the shell until the bird was free. But in his eagerness to make life easier for the young bird, he sealed its fate: Without strength built from pecking open its own shell, the bird could not survive.
There are times when I sure complain or get tired of dealing with the “shell” I am trying to crack. Sometimes it seems to take so long to do so little and there is so much to be done. Other times it feels like the parts cracking aren’t helping me get any closer to my desired goal. It is easy for me to forget how important the opposition is in my personal development. For the little bird, the shell is an essential part of it’s life. So are my challenges and obstacles.
We build a reservoir of strength by facing opposition. How we view opposition and respond to it will be the determining factor in the kind of life experience we will have. How are we going to experience life to it’s fullest if we are not willing to break through our shell. Would it be easier if all we ever wanted to have or to experience was just given to us? Maybe. But would that change us? Would that really bring us happiness and fulfillment?
The process of learning and growing through our challenges changes US. We are the ones benefiting from the obstacles. We are the ones getting stronger and stronger through each new growing experience. The shell and our obstacles are not the enemy. We are always in control of how we will respond to the task at hand.
Let’s be grateful together for the journey of emerging from our shells. The strength we will have received in the end will be infinitely more valuable than the struggle.
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