“It’s hard to find purpose or good in difficult circumstances, but that is the journey. Why did it have to be a journey? Why couldn’t a helicopter pick up and carry you to the finish line? Because throughout the difficult times, you will learn more, grow more in faith, love God more and love your neighbor more.
It is the journey of faith that begins in love and ends in love.”
That is a quote by a most amazing man named Nick Vijicic in his latest book “Unstoppable”
Why you might ask is this man so amazing?
Nick was born with no limbs. Yet he has managed to surf, skydive, produce a music video, travel around the world, own his own company, work with AIDS patients, work with women who were kidnapped and forced into sex slavery and be a motivational speaker. (He once spoke in a group of 110,000 people. He also plays soccer. He doesn’t leave the rest of us with much reason to whine about the hand we were dealt in life, does he?
As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, I believe that we all lived with our father in Heaven in a pre-mortal existence before we came to this earth that we had some say in what circumstance we would be born into this life. We believe that this life is a school so that we may learn and grow. That we may learn from our experiences here to love, obey and one day return to our father in Heaven through our father in Heaven. Through our faith and life choices while we are here on Earth, many people ask why? Why am I here and why is my life like this? Even as Latter Day Saints we sometimes find ourselves asking “Why me?” or saying I don’t remember signing up for this.
One of the things we believe in a relationship to this, is that certain people were so noble in their pre-existence that they were allowed to come to earth with certain disabilities so that they can be great teachers for the rest of us. They had advanced beyond most of us to the point that they can be our teachers if we will, but open ourselves to the learning.
When I worked with The Missionaries of Charity (the order of Mother Theresa), I had the wonderful opportunity to work with some severely challenged people, including lepers. As I watched the nuns love and administer the kindest of care. I began to witness the power of love in action. The kind of power that changes all who are exposed to it forever. Had it not been for these people who had come to Earth in a “disabled form,” I would never had been able to learn what Paul meant when he said “Though I speak of the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains and not charity. I am nothing and though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I hive my body to be burned and have not charity it profiteth me nothing. (1 Cor. 13, 1-3)
What a great opportunity we have to be part of and learn of the eternal principals our heavenly father has set before us. It is our choice to avail ourselves of this great knowledge that the noble among us have to teach.
March is disability month. Take some time to visit thouse who work with these great teachers such as Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming, Special Olympics and Easter Seals.
These are great folks engaged in great work. Let us be able to say in our hearts as Paul of old — Now abideth faith, hope, charity these three, but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor. 13 13).
Jack Burke is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.