Author: Terry Dashner
Some would say that the greatest stories have been told already. I would say that the greatest stories are yet to be told because you are still alive.
What is the uniqueness of your existence on this planet at a time such as this?
You were created in the image of a God who creates everything out of nothing—Ex nihilo. You were created to continue the expansion of His light through knowledge and understanding. You were created by He who took clay and manipulated it with his hands. From it came sinew and flesh. You were created to live beyond simple existence.
You were made to speak and command the universe to unfurl its ageless secrets. You were made to lay hands on material elements and mold them into a humanity of habitats—to dispel despair by your touch, by your warm embrace. This is who you are by the power and authority of a loving God who identifies with you in your struggles and challenges of living.
When Beethoven was going deaf to the sounds of his world, he would sit at the piano, put a pencil in his mouth, touching it to the instrument’s soundboard to feel the vibration of the note. In the heightened hour of his adversity, he would write what has become one of the most recognized symphonies in the world today—the Fifth. The force of the opening movement leaves no sense of doubt as to his victory over his handicap.
In a letter to a friend, Beethoven vocalized his social struggles and his concerns over his future because the loss of his hearing: “For two years I have avoided almost all social gatherings because it is impossible for me to say to people ‘I am deaf.’ If I belonged to any other profession it would be easier, but in my profession it is a frightful state…” He went on to say, “Of course I am resolved to rise above every obstacle, but how will it be possible?”
You are a possibility. When Chopin wrote and performed his nocturnes, he pulled from within a cauldron of emotions bathed in the loss of despair and devastation. Yet, people who listen to his piano twists and turns—will hear and sense sadness while others demur, hearing joy and celebration. It’s his genius shining through devastating adversity. When Julius Caesar came to the Rubicon—his point of no return–he never looked back as he and his army crossed that great European river and world history changed. History changed by one decision to not look back.
Moses was drawn from the Nile, the Baptist came out of the wilderness, Paul and Silas suffered torture and darkness, but came through it all—what will you come out of? What will history write about you? Life has no favorites and protects no one from its precepts. It rains on the just and unjust alike. The rain that falls on the outcast is the same rain that will inevitably one day fall on you and me. The only difference is how we react to the drab, the dank, the deluge that comes.
The fourth richest man in the UK, is severely dyslexic. By his own words, Richard Branson, said he had only his personality to present as his strength. With his personality, he built a record label and airlines. Neuroplasticity is brain science, which teaches us that the human brain does not become fixed and rigid with age. To the contrary, the brain is fluid and constantly reorganizing, rewiring itself to new experiences in our lives. A point of weakness can be reworked to develop a pathway of strength. We have no excuse to lay down and quit. Our weaknesses can become a pathway to strength and victory.
Actress, Marlee Matlin, won the Best Actress Academy Award in 1986 for her debut performance in “Children of a Lesser God.” Deaf since she was 18 months old, Marlee has garnered attention for deaf people the world over by being an advocate and role model. Blind and deaf, Helen Keller was the first such person to graduate from college. Famously tutored by Annie Sullivan, her life was chronicled in the play, “The Miracle Worker.” After graduation, Keller became a noted speaker, author, and crusader for pacifism and women’s right to vote. She is featured on the Alabama state quarter dollar.
Born a slave on a Virginia farm, Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) rose to become one of the most influential African-American intellectuals of the late 19th century. In 1881, he founded the Tuskegee Institute and 20 years later founded the National Negro Business League. He served as an adviser to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.
The Psalmist writes as an inquiry to his disturbed inner being—why art thy cast down, O my soul? The question is: Are you cast down? Excuses to quit are many, but the truth lies in the motivation to arise and make your statement, make your claim to your calling come true. When David lost everything at Ziklag, the Bible says that he encouraged himself. It’s up to you and no one else. Take back your life. All things are possible to those who believe.