Fresh Activity

The only use of an obstacle is to be overcome. All that an obstacle does with brave men is, not to frighten them, but to challenge them.” ~ Woodrow Wilson

One of my greatest delights is watching my children face and overcome obstacles. It is an essential part of the learning process and for that matter of the development of character.

I’ve long maintained that the ability to overcome obstacles translates directly into the capacity for handling adversity. Overcoming the little challenges puts you in position to meet the grander difficulties in life with confidence and grace, so it is never wise to snub your nose at the seemingly insignificant opportunities that come your way to engage in fresh activity.

It saddens me when I meet someone who has decided to stop trying new things. Where this decision is made the bell curve that is life peaks. What follows is typically a precipitous drop earthward, the fast track to the grave. Life is meant to be an ongoing stream of new and exciting challenges, that the life of the individual might progress from glory unto glory.

Last night my eldest son played with a new Erector Set while my youngest tinkered with a new Roy Toy building set. It was fascinating to see how they engaged with this fresh activity, applying what they knew to master the unknown that lay before them.

There is no point in fearing obstacles, in fact, they should be welcomed whenever you are lucky enough to have one come your way. They can and should have the effect of galvanizing you into action, of motivating you to marshal your resources so that you can take new ground in the living of life.

8 thoughts on “Fresh Activity

  1. Colin

    I have vowed to never stop not only trying, but even seeking out new things in my life. While I understand that as you get older the body may get weaker, many of the arguments I see either seem like excuses, or come from a place where if past opportunities had been taken the body would be in better shape to handle them. I want to be in shape to be able to push myself if I need to, and if I don’t start giving up hopefully it will be a long time until I have to answer no when I question whether I am up to trying something new.


  2. Ricardo B.

    Obstacles surely will highlight any areas in our lives where there live weaknesses or undeveloped strengths. We must pave our own roads towards wholeness, and in quiet contemplation we surely can give thanks for the challenges we face for it is in this light that our characters refine and then the twisted roads in the world beyond are made straight.
    This is one good reason not to bemoan our lot, for self-pity is a snare that distorts proper vision and prevents proper action. As the old adage goes, when the going gets tough and life throws you a lemon…….


  3. Thank you for your refreshing words. They bring life and renewal. Seeing obstacles as challenges to meet as a runner would prepare to run a race brings a feeling of strength and the joy of being just to run and run well. Life can be so lived with newness and freshness as we meet our world for the glory of it.


  4. TW

    Life is precious and sometimes children are our greatest examples of how to meet and overcome new obstacles with vision, determination and a sense of adventure. Thanks for sharing Gregg!


  5. happytobehere

    This is one of the keys to staying young!! Puzzles, new forms of exercise or learning a new language have all been suggested as methods to keep the mind and body agile as we age. I believe entertaining new ideas, embracing change and foregoing the past will open the flood gates to more exciting opportunities for challenging us than we could imagine. Becoming fossilized is not just an age issue, it comes with lack of courage to engage with our ever changing world. What a wonderful post to “prime the pump”!!


    1. I like your words about enbracing change and foregoing the past which opens the way to new and exciting opportunities. Today we are having a Memorial Service for our friend who has recently passed away. Death of a loved one is sure an opportunity to embrace change. Even in this occurence seeminly a challenge yet if met with a sense of confidence and newness opens the way for something so much greater.


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