Challenges build us


With Patrick Achitabwino:

We are living in tough and unprecedented times. Every day, hopes are eroding. You are on the brink of retrenchment and you even question God, why me? Your salary has been cut and your survival is swinging on the pendulum of poverty. You look at the weight of responsibility you have and wonder how on earth could life be this cruel to you. Nesting a dream to embark on business, you realise that what you thought would work out was only working on paper as the reality is different.

It might be that you have been on the endless journey of seeking employment. You have hit many blank walls at banks and other financing institutions to germinate your business dream. Probably the love of life you were waiting for has just proven to be an illusion and you have given up on the thing called love. Your situation might be bad, such that even friends are nowhere to be seen.


Wait a minute. That is not the end of the road for you. In life, you need hard times to become stronger than ever. To every challenge, there is an opportunity. Take time to look at your situation and will discover that it offers you the opportunity to rethink your life and restart life afresh. You will start recognising the beauty of things you used to take for granted. You will begin to utilise some talents that were hidden in you just because you were in the comfort zone.

Your life is not that far from a breakthrough, no matter how dark the times you are passing through. You may feel as if nothing is working for you. You may feel as if your sweat will never produce fruits. Keep on pushing. Consider the life of a young lady Helen Steiner Rice. Born in 1900, dreaming to become a lawyer, her plan to attend college died after her father died during the influenza pandemic in 1918.

Helen picked up a small job in an electricity utility company. She married banker Franklin Rice in 1928. Fate was not done with her. When the stock market crashed in 1929, Franklin committed suicide. Helen took up the job of editing cards and, for 20 years, she worked in that industry, resulting in some of her poems being published by the Gibson Card company. All along, she had a grateful attitude despite suffering a painful degenerative disease.


But there will always be light at the end of the tunnel as there will be in your life. One day, one of her cards was read on ‘The Lawrence Welk Show’ and that marked the change in her life. People clamoured for her poetry. Since then, people bought over seven million books of her writing.

Before her maker took her into his kingdom in 1981, she left behind a poem that all people facing dark times have to read always. It is the poem that inspires and injects hope in a world that seems hopeless. More so, it is a poem of a person that felt the pangs of life and walked over them with happiness, hope and a grateful heart. Read along with Helen as she recites her poem.

And together we stand at life’s crossroads

And view what we think is the end,

But God has a much bigger vision

And He tells us it’s only a bend

For the road goes on and is smoother,

And the pause in the song is a rest.

And the part that’s unsung and unfinished

Is the sweetest and richest and best

So rest and relax and grow stronger.

Let go and let God share your load,

Your work is not finished or ended,

You’ve just come to a bend in the road

Imagine the title of the poem, ‘The Bend In The Road’. Embody such a perspective in your situation, then you will rise beyond disappointment, you will begin to look at life differently, and with great optimism; you will start doing the unthinkable and become extraordinary. You do not need to be held captive by the pains you are passing through. Remember, what does not kill you makes you stronger. You have not reached the end of the road; you have only reached the bend in the road.

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