By Joseph J. Mazzella • December 26, 2017
It was many years ago. I was a college graduate with a degree but no job. My substitute teaching work had dried up and I was getting desperate. I had a family to feed and little money left. Fortunately, my oldest brother had been able to get me a job at the local lumber mill where he worked. While I was grateful, my first day there was quite a blow to my ego. The job paid barely above minimum wage. The work was hard and back breaking. It was full of bending, lifting, and carrying heavy wood for eight hours a day. Splinters were soon my best pals and every day I went home aching and exhausted.
When Winter arrived my gloves tore and my fingers split and bled in the cold air. I found myself using more band aids and duct tape than I ever thought I would just to keep my hands working. The turn over rate at the mill became so high that at the end of two years only four other people had worked there longer than I had. Every morning I would pull myself out of bed and go to work knowing it was going to be another difficult day. I tried my best to keep my spirits up but many times during those years I found myself saying, “Why me, God? Why am I having to go through this? Why has my life not turned out the way I dreamed it would?” I never got an answer.
It is only now many years later that I have a hint of why I had to go through those tough times. I think maybe in a way I needed them. I needed them to shrink my ego and grow my humility. I needed them to deepen my faith in God and learn to trust in His guidance. I needed them to become more caring, compassionate, and loving. I needed them to learn that every person in this world is my sister or brother and that they all deserve my help and kindness.
I think that it is the “Why Me?” times of our lives in which we grow the most. It is these times that bring us closest to God. It is these times that mature and refine our souls. If you are going through some “Why Me?” times then don’t give up. Use them to become stronger. Use them to become better. Use them to become kinder and more loving. Use them to grow into the person you were meant to be in this life, so you can take that person with you into the next
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