Why are obstacles important in life?

While we all pray for each other that one should not come across any obstacle in life, I have a different view after read the following.

We must come across obstacles and need to pray for each other to overcome obstacles (with some pain) and progress.

One night recently my daughter, Elizabeth, was showing me an aquarium full of tadpoles. She had purchased a whole bag full of them for her children (my grandchildren) to watch grow from tadpoles into frogs. It was fun watching all of those little wiggly creatures swimming around in the aquarium! It brought back many fond memories of my own childhood, playing with “critters” down at my grandparent’s house.

I noticed that there was a big rock in the aquarium. When I asked her why she put a rock right in the middle of the tadpole’s environment, Elizabeth told me an interesting story. I can hardly believe that I have lived almost fifty-nine years without having heard it because it is so good.

Elizabeth said that when she went to the pet store to buy the tadpoles, the gentleman told her to be sure to put a big rock right in the middle of the aquarium. The tadpoles must have this obstacle to give them the incentive to climb up and thus split their little wiggly tails so that their legs can begin to develop. If they have no rock or obstacle to climb up on, they will never turn into frogs. They cannot learn how to hop by just swimming around in water. They must have something causing resistance to give them the incentive to leap forward.

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The man went on to tell her that last year a school teacher came back to the store and complained because none of her tadpoles had ever turned into frogs. She had put all of them in an aquarium and let them swim around but they never became frogs. He asked her if she had put a big obstacle, like a rock, in the middle of the aquarium. She said that she had not. She did not know that a tadpole will remain a tadpole unless it faces some obstacle or barrier that forces it to grow. Neither did I, but it makes perfect sense.

So, my daughter was excited to show me all of the tadpoles swimming around the rock. In time, they will begin to try to climb up it and eventually they will make the transformation into a more fully mature creature.

I was amazed and delighted to hear that story. It helped me begin to see, once again, why we have obstacles and barriers in front of us. They are not there to hinder us, but they are there to cause us to grow. It is not so much what the object is in front of each one of us that matters as much as it is our attitude towards it. If we realize that the obstacle we are facing is really a gift that has come our way to help us grow and mature, we will be much more likely to face it in a positive manner.

Since I watched those tadpoles the other night and saw the big rock in their aquarium, I have begun to see the obstacles I face in a different way. Instead of being rocks in my path, those obstacles have become stepping stones to help me leap forward in whatever situation I find myself.

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I know that those little tadpoles have no idea what is going on. They just are not that smart. The truth of the matter is, neither are we. Most of us have no idea what is going on in our lives either. We don’t understand that the barriers and obstacles, challenges, difficulties and hard times that come our way each day are actually there for a purpose. There is no way we will have the incentive to grow, or to become better, or to strive harder, if everything in life is just a simple situation. I know the harder I work at anything, the more profitable it is for me, not only financially, but personally, in my own heart and character as well.

So, the next time you see a frog hopping around, smile at him and thank him for the lesson, remembering the struggle he has gone through to get where he is. Perhaps out in the wild somewhere, he faced a difficult rock or barrier in his life, but rather than swimming away from it, he just crawled up on it and began to develop his personal strength until he eventually matured to become the frog that you see hopping around.

Remember… Obstacles are there to help you…

All the best once again.

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