May 21, 2010

Richard Gotthardt

This past week I was staring at a wall.  I know, sounds really productive, doesn’t it?  OK, it was the office at Guerrero Elementary School.  I saw a short biography of the man the school is named after- Pedro Guerrero.  Quite a life- successful businessman (founded Rosarita Foods, among other ventures), active in his community, a devoted family man.  But most impressive to me is what he had overcome.  As a young teenager, he had already lost his father, then his mother died, and he became responsible for his younger siblings.  They were homeless, impoverished.  Crushing, overwhelming, devastating.  Can you imagine facing similar circumstances.  How would you respond?

Something within this man responded with not just resilience, but tenacity.  He didn’t simply survive, he thrived.  He married, started his own family.  He worked hard and had an aptitude for business.  And he gave back.  He launched an organization for Hispanic young men who had no other place to go (Division Juvenil), since (at that time) they weren’t welcomed into Boys Clubs.  Really impressive.

Reading this short bio got me thinking.  Thinking about adversity and obstacles, about pain and hardship.  So many challenges out there.  Whatever yours are, they’re real and they are daunting.  So why is it that some people “rise above” and others don’t?  How do some press through the pain and adversity, allowing it to shape and deepen their character, while others simply become victims of what has happened to them?  I don’t know about Mr. Guerrero, but for followers of Jesus, I have observed a key belief that makes all the difference.  It’s the conviction that whatever comes my way, God is still sovereign (in charge) and He’s still good.  So whatever I face, God is able to work through, able to use it to shape my heart, my life.  The belief that no matter how dark the night, I am not abandoned, but held by unseen hands.  Even when I don’t feel them, even when God seems silent, He’s still there.
Whatever I face—whatever you face, too– has the possibility of transformation.  It can help me to grow deeper and stronger as I cling to Jesus.  Remember, it’s not just what happens that shapes us, it’s our perspective about it.  How are you “seeing” what you are currently going through?

Richard’s Ramblings

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