Obstacles, those things that come with a multitude of emotions, frustration, anger, fear, despair, depression, and most often, stress. Mostly we try to find away around obstacles; but that's the problem.
I remember years ago taking a missionary friend to the airport and about 30 minutes from the airport we struck the worst traffic jam I’ve every encountered. It was absolute gridlock. She became stressed that she’d miss her plane and I swung into action, taking the first turn and heading for the backblocks. I knew the area well and each time we struck another block, I went a different way until I finally realised that all the other ‘backblockers’ had managed to jam those too. It took 2 hours to drive the 30-minute trip and she missed her plane, as did most of the other people heading to the airport that morning.
She’s a larger than life character, a live-life-to-the-full lady. One of her passions is roller skating, one that she attributes to changing her attitude to obstacles.
"Before I started park skating, I never thought of obstacles as something "fun.” they were something to "overcome." As a park skater, I know obstacles. Skate parks are filled with them: boxes, stairs, ramps, rails, and bowls. The point is to go skate them, not avoid them! Even though I've skated for a couple of years, I still get afraid at parks but park skating has taught me there's more to obstacles than "overcoming" them. Obstacles are where the magic happens when I get past my fear and just go for it anyway."
Her daughter has been learning gymnastics and Christine began to wonder if she could do the same. With the help of her daughter’s trainer, she began with a goal to one day be able to handstand. Not only did she recently achieve her goal, but she’s made a video clip, in the hope that others with Parkinson’s disease will be encouraged to challenge the obstacles of the disease.
We can see obstacles as a deterrent or a barrier to where we want to go, what we want to do or who we want to be or we can let them challenge us. Buried in the obstacle is an opportunity to discover things about ourselves that we might never have thought possible. They can become the building blocks of courage, perseverance, endurance, patience and often, sweet success.
Obstacles encourage us to risk failure and try again. I love these two women who've refused fear and defeat and discovered that through sheer determination and a good dash of courage, anything is possible.
Christine says, "Thank you to God who guides me, this weak vessel, in paths unknown". He uses the obstacles we face to grow us, just as surely as he uses the moments when he leads us in green pastures and beside still waters. To avoid them is to be less than we can be.
A glimpse into Christine's journey and triumph.