Sorrow is a fruit. God does not allow it to grow on a branch that is too weak to bear it. Victor Hugo
Not all fruits are sweet; unripe fruit for example or some varieties of citrus fruits are far from being sweet. Yet we consume it, occasionally relish it and definitely acknowledge them as fruits of Gods bounty. If we look at sorrow in a similar vein, it will dawn on us that sorrow is fruit that may taste bitter but has vital graces in it that steadies our life and our existence. The one sorrow that always encapsulates each and every human being is the pain we feel when someone dies particularly if the person sis someone close and intimate to us. Often the intensity of the pain is inversely proportionate to the age of the deceased but that in no way lessens the ache or the feeling of despondency that envelops us. Yet, over time we learn to overcome that pain and get on with life.
While death is a reality that we are reconciled to, what we find harder to bear are the sorrows brought about by a sudden quirk of fate. Someone close to us or even if we are diagnosed with a terminal illness or we get cheated by someone we trust implicitly or break down of a marriage which seem really made in heaven are varied reflections of the quirks of fate. Even tougher is the thought of reconciling to the reality that your child is challenged in any way. Despite these terrible calamities that make us despair and question God’s wisdom, we eventually accept the reality and move on purposefully to make the best of a worst case scenario.
History is witness to numerous forays and battles of kings and Generals of old who have enjoyed the fruits of success and also witnessed the pain of losing and being prisoner. Rarely does history record that they rued their failings or shyed away from taking responsibility for their misadventures. They reflect a quality that is the heart of the human civilization, the forbearance to accept fate, the courage to dare and the resilience to attempt challenges again. Sorrow is a feeling that overcomes us at times but it should never overcome us and immobilize us for then life comes to a standstill. Even when sorrows come in torrents, we only need to withstand that test of life and mourn those moments. Then we need to gather our wits about us and recoup to face life with a confidence that in effect says; you can test me, you can tease me and you can torture me but you cannot touch my spirit.
Remember: “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” Victor Hugo
- Visit an old age home or a palliative care centre. Listen to the sorrows of the inmates. Do you think you have comparable sorrows? Seek out some of the inmates who spread cheer and comfort to the others. What is the learning you get from them?
- Reflect on the most sorrowful moments of your life. What made those moments so poignant? How did you manage to overcome them? Are you resentful and hurt still that fate cheated you by sending you those sorrows?
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