Curated Leadership for Today's World

please stop praying for me, i need all the problems i can get!

Posted on 30 May 2012

hardtimesgreyfisted1My father, Charlie "Tremendous" Jones, liked to shock people who asked him to pray for their problems. He would bow his head with them and pray that their problems got worse! After all, why should he pray someone out of something that God put them in to break them down and ultimately make them a better person? He joked that he was the only man in America who got cards and letters from people across the country writing and saying, “Dear Mr. Jones, please quit praying for me, I’ve had all I can take!”

Many would consider me a very happy and successful person. Yet you won’t know the challenges and struggles that made me that way. You only see how I have chosen to deal with these situations. My father used to jokingly call this "happy miserable" but he was dead serious.

If challenges are opportunities, if the path to success is through failure, then why do we wallow in self pity or run away? It takes maturity and accountability. There were times when I recounted my “poor me” situations for years to anyone who would listen.  What a terrible waste of time and energy.

At least half of the failures and heartaches I went through were due to my own lack of strength, discipline, or willingness to follow my conscience. The other half were situations meant to teach me some vital lessons about life here on earth.  As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so that you can be all that you were intended to be.” And yes, even things that go wrong due to my own shortcomings can teach tremendous life lessons.

Embrace your problems because sometime in the future, you’re going to cross
ctjwisdom1 paths with someone going through the exact same thing and you just might be able to impart some compassion or insights to them. It’s not about you; it’s about using what you’ve been through to help others and to grow as an individual. No one is ever successful being a victim. But if you look at your trials as a godsend, I guarantee you sometime in the future you’ll be a positive impact to someone who desperately needs it, including yourself.

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2 comments

  • traceyjones: February 20, 2016

    Thanks so much Mark:-) My best yet…..what will I do for this week!! Yikes! But seriously, I very much appreciate your comments and encouragement. I also loved, loved, loved reading everyone’s comments about your Ruby transformation. As always, it’s humbling to be connected with you. So I’m beanie tippin’ back at you my friend!

  • Mark Armstrong: February 20, 2016

    A wonderful post, Tracey, I think it’s your best ever. Man, your dad sure knew how to get people’s attention— nothing like humor with an unexpected twist to grab you by the neck!

    That’s such a great question you’ve asked: “If the path to success is through failure, then why do we wallow in self pity or run away?” I think it takes many of us a long time to learn that first lesson: that one has to fail before one can succeed. I guess we run away from that need to fail— which is ultimately self-defeating.

    And the idea that problems teach compassion that can be shared with others… that’s very powerful. We’re all so self-involved, we forget how essential compassion is. Life would be a mighty cold slog without it…

    Great post, I’m tipping my beanie to you— again!! : )

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