Trial by Fire

It can be wearying to only learn through trial by fire, but to do so occasionally can be quite invigorating if not downright fun. It’s all in the way you approach the challenge.

If you have practiced keeping your cool in the little things – by resisting the temptation to react to petty matters, obvious goading and button-pushing by those close to you and so on – then you were likely in good position to handle the rigors of a fire by trial. If you didn’t, you probably felt a little heat in your nether-regions or your hair might have caught on fire as you fumbled your way through it.

Self-assurance, poise, grace under pressure and self-control are the product of habit. If you are found wanting in this department, it is not a permanent flaw but a temporary vulnerability. The absence of any of these qualities leaves you open not to attack (as everyone is regardless of their maturity) but to being overcome by the attacks on your patience and ego. The presence of these qualities sustains your dignity in the face of the most hateful attacks.

Think about the quiet, calm and uneventful times as practice instead of drudgery. The small irritations that pop up will serve as a dress rehearsal for the more turbulent, stormy and hectic tidal waves that will inevitably lap upon your shores.

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin


6 thoughts on “Trial by Fire

  1. Kolya

    Life is really how you approach it, whether it’s the challenging times, quiet times or joyful times. Grace under pressure is such a wonderful thing to experience and to behold in others.

  2. Carmen

    But it is so hard to learn, when you are trying to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction of your preceived difficulty! And yet, it is only by stopping and observing self that we can possibly understand “why” the situation exist for us in the first place. None of us want to suffer, or to feel pain, it is natural for us to want to escape, but more often than not we run right into an even more difficult situation instead! For myself, I am trying so hard to learn this lesson. To sit and be still, to take a few calming breathes, and begin to unravel my struggle, and find that if I can just find the end of one thread, I might begin to preceive some small glimmer of the Truth that lies within the lesson.

  3. Lady Leo

    ‘Tis true. I still cringe when I think about times that I let myself be overwhelmed by petty annoyances. There are continual challenges that can trigger frustration and I’ve found that practice does make perfect with this habit.

  4. Chuck Reddick

    Learning how to handle the small annoyances and interruptions to our ‘peaceful’ live prepares us to be able to handle the bigger pressures that will come along. Therefore, handled rightly they become blessings.

  5. Joy

    What a great way of looking at all those irritating little happenings that occur in a day…opportunity, opportunity all is opportunity!! It certainly does change one’s perspective. Thank you Gregg, for this simple yet wonderfully, practical reminder.

  6. Ricardo B.

    I look at this in terms of fitness, which applies to so many different aspects of our lives. We don’t exercise for the purposes of vanity, for that’s energy misplaced and without lasting blessing to anyone. We should exercise to have real functional carryover to the demanding circumstances in our lives, be whatever they may be. Strength and conditioning are developed – they don’t come automatically, which implies we do really need to approach life day by day, with the full force of our awareness and highest ideals.

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