Thankful for the Challenges

Hunter sat in his office chair and stared out the window in dismay. Leaves once more began to fill up his yard. He sighed and shook his head. “Didn’t I just clean you two days ago?” Like demons returning to a soul purged of evil, but not filled with good, the leaves seemed to multiply more quickly. Hunter leaned back and felt his stiff muscles complain at the idea of another round.

He took a sip of warm coffee and remembered the days fondly when he was younger. He relished the Fall. His body did not dread the workout; it welcomed it. His children would dance and play in anticipation of their swan dives into the piles of leaves. Their dog would even get into the act. The animal would run as fast as she could into the collections of dried colors with the children and come out the other end trailing brown, yellow, red, and twigs. That yard was smaller, but the event took most of a Saturday afternoon.

Now Hunter sat and wondered how he could avoid the torture. His father used to tell him, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you save.” Hunter was raised to take care of his own, and he raised his children the same way. Paying someone else for the task just seemed lazy. Besides, it was not all that bad. Sure, he was going to hurt, but part of that was his older body. Hunter fought aging for years. He’d work out every day in some way shape or fashion, and try the newest trendy diets. Then a lightbulb came on one day, and he realized he was exchanging one type of agony for another.

Wasn’t that what he was looking at now, the fruits of his decisions? Sure, he was going to hurt when it was all said and done. Was that not the point? Much like the leaves in his yard, his body began to decay day by day as the years began to pile on. When he worked on his property he was not just maintaining his house; he was managing his body. It’s all part of God’s grand design. Every demon, every leaf, every pain, and every loss has its purpose and blessing in the end.

Hunter smiled and thought about the mistakes in his younger days and how much he had grown from them over the years. People say you never change, but if you are not changing you are not growing, and if you are not growing then you are not living. Sure, he still had demons to fight, but Hunter could see God giving him the victories year over year. Yes, his house needed maintenance, but at least he had a home. He did miss his children, but at least they had all grown up and started their own lives. Some had even given him grandchildren.

Removing the leaf litter from the freshly grown grass no longer looked like such a daunting challenge. Hunter smiled and thanked God for the opportunity to tackle another task.


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