Thankfully, I am not the master of my fate, nor am I the captain of my soul.
“But I can be good enough!”
This was the cry which had echoed out so many times before, the anthem of the timeless and oh-so-futile struggle that every human fights. The sum of all mortal hopes, dreams, and delusions gathered into one statement. Man has always fought against his helplessness. There is always a battle when the eternal fate of his soul is brought forth for scrutiny. He is convinced, in his mind, of his ability to survive. The Earth is his plaything, sickness is but an inconvenience, and the animals exist for naught but to be controlled. He is his own master. Why should he not be able to control his place in the afterlife? God is but an idea, an ideological crutch on which to lean. Only the weak need to acknowledge Him; that’s what the strong tell themselves.
“I can be good enough!” Always in the future, ever a possibility, never an I am, that’s for the shallow. There’s always one more thing. There are always improvements to be made. Perfection is always just ahead. I. Can. Be.
Like the constant attempts of the mosquito to survive, the finger plugging the dam, or the roadkill which once tried to traverse the highways without a vehicle, so is man. On its own, the finite can never become infinite. The infinite can never be completely reduced to the definable. Collect, pile, multiply, and repeat, the infinite is never within grasp. There will always be an amount, no matter how large the number. Infinite is not a human term. It can be, but it never will. The theoretical has no bearing on the divine. Possibilities will not pass for constants. Can be will never pass for I am. I have been, can be, might, was, or could—none of these will suffice.
Without a piece of the infinite, the finite is but a mere dot on a scale—easily obtainable and even more easily surpassable. It is when the infinite comes down, takes on the burdens on the finite, and provides a portal through which both can pass, that the finite is saved.
“No, you can’t,” came the response, “but I can.”
A problem? There’s a problem with our world, you say? I cannot help but to agree less. Our world has no single problem. Our world is full of problems. Everyone who does something vile causes a new problem, and that problem in turn can initiate its own set of problems. Problems are the source of thousands of businesses. Plumbers, technicians, firemen, and police all exist because of problems. Problems make the world go ’round.
Problem is the name applied to millions of items: animals, devices, weather, and yes, even people. “He’s such a problem.” “Why is that a problem?” “Do you have to cause so many problems?”
Problems are the sources of our engagement in conversation. “What’s your problem?” “Can I help you (with your problem)?” “You too?”
Problems exist because problems are needed. Problems cannot be gotten rid of; problems are inherent to our society. A world without problems is a world with nothing. In our universe, nothing is perfect, and perfection is sham.
Without problems, we would have nothing to which we could aspire. Without problems, success would be meaningless. Without problems, we could not chase perfection. Until we are are in a perfect place, our problems bring us the motivation to be try, to chase, to excel.
Problems are a fact. You don’t have a problem, you are surrounded by them. They exist to make us better. Problems are given to us so that we can find our limits, hone our strengths, and sharpen our skills.
Sometimes our problems turn out to be helps. Sometimes the things we trust turn out to hurt us, but until we cannot be hurt, our hurts serve to help us grow. Until we reach a final state, we have choices–endless choices. One choice stands out above all.
How do we treat our problems?
This is the question that will guide your life. This is the question that will incalculably influence your character. Do you acknowledge your problems? Do you ignore them? Do you shrink from them or try to tackle them on your own? This is the basis upon which you must build your life. Decide to deal with problems with an attitude of grace, and the graciousness in your troubles will be amplified in your joy.
You don’t have a problem; you have many. You can’t run from your problems; they are everywhere. You can learn to accept them; you can grow from them, and eventually, they will kill you, but in your death, will others learn from you? Will the solutions you formed in your life serve to aid others? Will the problems others face be made easier by the problems you overcame in your own life?
Learn to accept your problems; learn to embrace them, and in the end, learn to defeat them or die trying.
Remember, you don’t have a problem–everyone does.