Leonardo da Vinci was a man of many talents. He is the quintessential Renaissance Man and an example of one who developed the art of being patient. He was branded by the church as one working heresy, branded by the ignorant as one doing witchcraft, but he was embraced by patrons as a genius who birthed brilliant ideas well before their time. It was the fear and lack of understanding of those dark days that brought him persecution during several seasons of his life.
It was in one of those difficult seasons that he recorded the following in a hand written journal. “Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they will then be powerless to vex your mind.”
When you consider the simplicity and truth of this statement it really is quite amazing. Because of patience not only are great wrongs unable to trouble your mind but great things are quite often discovered. A case in point is Thomas Edison. He had been experimenting with how to use electricity to produce light. He was convinced it could be done but every attempt he made ended with the wrong results.
After more than two years and 2000 tries he finally hit the correct combination. He discovered that a tungsten filament held in place in a vacuum would glow brightly when an electric current was pass through it, and it would not burn up. When a reporter asked him what it was like to go through more than 2000 failures to solve the problem, Edison’s answer was amazing. He said he had not failed 2000 times, he had simply gone through a 2000 step process to achieve success.
How we view our current situation in the laboratory of life makes all the difference. If we see every season of difficulty as a personal attack, then those cold days will surely have the power to hurt us. If we see the setbacks of life as personal failures that hold us back, then we will never embrace them as a healthy learning process that can redefine us and make us better.
Patient endurance is a master key for us all. It can bring forth major victory in something that had the potential to unleash a life-altering disaster. You cannot control what others may say or do and you cannot stop what life circumstances may come your way. However, the good news is that you can choose how you will respond to them and that fact makes all the difference.
It is the power of personal choice that gives us all the ability to rise above any storm and endure any difficulty. We can either hide in a hole in the ground when the storm comes, and try to minimize the damage, or we can use the winds of adversity that are blowing around us to lift us higher. These have the power to propel us with fresh insight into heights we never dreamed possible. The choice is yours, and yours alone, to make.
Your attitude in the storm will ultimately determine your altitude, and your altitude will determine your destination. My question today is this, “Will you spend you life wounded in a hole in the ground, or will you spread your wings and explore the high places only found in the blessing that comes with the winds of adversity?” The truth is quite simple, we all choose to take up residence in a grave or on a launch pad, that is, in the storm ….or above it. I’ve made my choice and I look with anticipation from a high place of expectation. My hope is that you will choose to spread your wings the next time you see an approaching storm. Let it carry you into your future or it will bury you in the present.