The Motivation of Adversity

photo-1452975261254-982078333ab5The cross-country skier from Norway got caught in a group of men who tripped near the beginning of the race. He broke a pole and continued the race in last place. If you haven’t seen the story, check it out here.

“Sometimes a little bit of adversity goes a long way with motivation.”

Isn’t that the truth?

I imagine no one reading this will experience falling in an Olympic competition and working their way from last to first place, yet each of us have fallen. We’ve tripped and been tripped. We’ve fallen on our own, and we’ve fallen in a tangled mess with others. We’ve faced brokenness and had to deal with how to move on. We’ve even considered if we want to or can move on. We’ve looked ahead at the daunting obstacles. We’ve known the temporary exhilaration of passing what we thought we couldn’t pass, then been discouraged to consider the context of where we are and how far we still have to go.

Unlike cross country skiing or other races, we’re not even really sure where our finish line is much of the time.

Adversity can seem overwhelming at times, but it’s in those moments that we often get to the core of who we are and where we’re going. Adversity can confuse and disorient us. But it can also clarify our purpose.

We often don’t know how we’ll respond to adversity, but our response nearly always reveals our training, our commitment, and our character.


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