Points to Ponder:
A large part of growing – our character, heart, relationships, and faith – is to cultivate the habit of continuously challenging our internal limitations and comfort zones. Essentially, to grow, we can’t stay the same! Often the greatest lessons and victories lie behind some challenge we are asked to overcome. Even though it might be difficult, uncomfortable, even scary sometimes, if we can see the challenges that come our way as opportunities to learn, grow, discover, and manifest something new, then we can often find the courage to take those steps. Having an emotion stronger than fear (be it love, hope, excitement, joy, determination, etc) can be a powerful force in propelling us forward. Sometimes, we might not feel anything, and just have to muster up the will power to keep on going and push through. In the quotes below, True Parents encourage an attitude of continually challenging ourselves; not just to do it once, but to have the heart to constantly seek to improve, go deeper, and discover the sense of joy and fulfillment that comes from manifesting the very best of ourselves and our relationship with our Heavenly Parent.
- Can you think of an experience of challenging an internal limitation?
- What helped you take that step?
- Has your attitude towards challenge changed over the years with your experiences?
“A life of faith is not aimless. A life of faith is like gathering the equipment required to reach a mountaintop, the summit of the highest peak. Hence when faced with an obstacle we should not make a detour around it. Instead, we should proceed through the obstacle. When faced with hardships, we should determine not to give up, and be ready to face even greater difficulties. With an indomitable spirit, we should strive to discover the subjective self that can digest all experiences.” – CSG 797
“Some members here have lived a life of faith knowing God’s Will for only one year, others for more than ten years or half a lifetime. The issue then is whether you have stood still, made progress or retreated. You need to clearly know where you stand and then you can go over the next hill. You may have made significant progress in the past, but if you are at a standstill today, God’s living vitality cannot be with you and you cannot maintain a loving relationship with God. You may have made tremendous positive strides in the past, moving forward with boundless values, boundless vitality and the boundless power of love, but if you are now at a standstill you are already separated from God.” – CSG 800
“If you are trained on this course, things to come will become easier for you to handle. If you take interest in what you are going through, and if you are thrilled to find new adventures, then when you are faced with ever greater difficulties, you can tackle those with more zeal and capability. But if you are unwilling to confront the problems occurring around you and are afraid of them, then you will not be able to turn the experience into training to face new problems. Only by having gone over the rocks and waterfalls can you lead yourself to the heart of the ocean.” – Challenge and Victory
“You must have the attitude that you want to face whatever comes with great expectation and interest.” – Challenge and Victory
“The harder, the more challenging the situation is, the more progress you will make. Do you realize that? You are so anxious to be successful, but if you have no zeal to fight through the way to success, you will not meet it soon.” – Challenge and Victory
“No matter what hardships you go through, I am one friend who will understand you completely. Not only in the past, but in the present I am going through the same life that you are leading. When your situation becomes difficult then remind yourself that you are not alone because I am sharing that very moment with you.” – Way of Tradition I 39
This week, we invite you take up the challenge to do one more difficult, comfort-zone-stretching thing each day. It could be to introduce yourself to someone new at school or work. Reach out to an elder for advice or support. Do something kind for a stranger. Muster up the courage to make a phone call and mend a relationship. Wake up early to take some time for prayer and HDH. Volunteer for something. Pray for someone who’s going through challenges. Raise your hand and share your thoughts and opinions on a matter. Stand up for someone or something. Serve the people you live with – make a meal, clean up a mess you didn’t make.
Just a few ideas, but if the intention is out there, we’re sure the perfect opportunities will come your way!