As a rule most people tend think of the “blessed life” as one without problems, plenty of money, and lots of leisure time.It’s very rare to meet someone who refers to the challenges life has handed them, as blessings. However, the blessing of brokenness can be an experience that sets you up and equips you to fulfill your purpose here on earth like no other experience. The blessing of a broken heart can turn the most self-centered person into the most compassionate soul.
Crippled but Not Disabled
Physical injuries can get some people down and keep them down while others flap their wings and begin to soar higher. A perfect example is my friend and fellow pilot, Carl Hiebert, the author of Gift of Wings and Us Little People. As a result of a hang-gliding accident, Carl injured his back and has been a paraplegic ever since. Carl was still in rehab when he took up flying ultra light aircraft.
He has since flown across Canada photographing that beautiful country and traveled the world as a motivational speaker. I had him up flying with me a few times when I still owned a helicopter. When he has asked me if I’ll give him some lessons, he just ignored my comment that you need both hands and both feet to fly a helicopter. He just doesn’t give up. What an inspiration!
Carl hosts a fly-in once a year and invites his friends to join him for a barbecue at the farm where he keeps his airplane. I joined him and his friends a few years ago, flying in with my helicopter. Carl raffled off a few tickets for free helicopter rides. The holder of one of the winning tickets drawn was an older gentleman in his mid-sixties. It’s funny how our definition of “old” is always 25 years older than we are at the time. However, this gentleman insisted that his wife get the free ride. I agreed, and he brought his wife over and introduced her to me. She appeared to be the same age as her husband but she was completely blind.
As we took off, I quickly realized that I needed to be her eyes, so that she too could enjoy the beautiful scenery. I began to describe the sight below. The beautiful green trees, the crops in the fields and the winding Nith River. I described the beauty of the landscape beneath us as well as my limited vocabulary would permit. This lady was just in awe as she kept saying, “WOW! This is so-o-o beautiful.” I realized with amazement how grateful she was to experience the world through my eyes. (Close your eyes for a minute to understand the view she actually had.)
I felt tears welling up as I realized that with the attitude this lady had, the rest of the world was blinder than she was. Think about it. Who’s better off, the person who can’t see or the person who has no vision? Who’s better off, the person who has no dreams, or the person who refuses to follow their dreams? Who is more fortunate, the person who is broken on the outside but vibrant, healthy, and whole on the inside, or someone who appears to have it together outwardly but inwardly feels they have no life purpose, are merely existing from day to day, and are dying a slow death on the inside?
Once you understand that nothing happens by accident or coincidence, you will realize there’s a purpose for every event that happens in our lives. We are all here for a purpose.
If you are able to read this, think how much more fortunate you are than my blind passenger is. Take time to watch a sunset. Wake up earlier tomorrow and watch the sunrise. Instead of complaining about what you don’t have, begin to give thanks for things you have been taking for granted. Whatever we focus on gets bigger. Start to focus on your assets and blessings. When we begin to count our blessings, our problems have a way of shrinking.
How has your experience with failure, hurt or brokenness turned into a blessing? How have you been able to share the blessing with others?
Ben Kubassek is an international expert on social entrepreneurship, author, and speaker. He’s on a mission to help young people in developing countries launch their own businesses in order to create jobs and bring transformation to their communities.
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