Nothing happens to any man that he is not formed by nature to bear. Marcus Aurelius
Watching an otherwise uninspiring movie last evening, I was fortunately introduced to the wisdom of Marcus Aurelius. He was quoted throughout the movie and as I further investigated his work, I ran into this bit of truth that coincides precisely to my way of approaching the world.
My version of it has always read, “God never gives hard tasks to those who can’t handle them.” For those who object to that much of God’s intervention in our lives, perhaps this won’t work. But for the rest of us, it makes a great deal of sense.
The concept of “…formed by nature….” might be subject to interpretation. Can we believe that nature is God’s work? Or is it more a case of nature equating to life and experience, in which case the least religious of us can support the theory? In other words, if our experience doesn’t allow us to endure the problems of life, we are ignoring its teachings.
Hardships come in all sizes and flavors, ranging from losing a treasured plastic ring in kindergarten to tragic illness as adults. My opinion is that those who have learned from their past journeys are best equipped to survive the events of their futures. We can find a host of quotes to support that theory, including the business of forgetting the past can guarantee that we repeat it.
More than remembering the past, we must take full advantage of its lessons. In some cases, it will allow us to avert events that will cause harm or loss. In others, anticipating an outcome will provide the means and resources to handle it with the greatest competence and confidence.
Beneath all of that, we must feel certain of our abilities to face anything with resolve because we know that we can prevail. This strength can be derived from the outside but it’s most valuable if self-initiated and confirmed. Shalom.