Picture an airplane taking off with one of those smoke bombs attached to its wing. The result will be a smooth curve going from the starting point on the ground upward slowly until the bomb runs out of smoke. Life’s curve is generally expected to look like that. You start at birth, learn a lot of things, graduate, get a job, get married, have a family, get active in the community or a church. Eventually you retire and enjoy the grandkids. It’s expected to be a gently rising curve from birth to death.
But my friend David says he never learned a thing from the gentle upward sweep of life’s curve. He learned when the curve suddenly started straight downward. Some people think of that as failure. Some look at it as a learning experience. Thomas Edison was once asked about his many failures while trying to create a light bulb. His reply was that he didn’t fail. He learned a thousand ways not to make a light bulb.
So the curve more closely resembles a saw blade. I think of it as “David’s Curve”. The down-drops are the experiences which equip us to help others in similar circumstances. They are times of learning, of testing, of making us into wiser human beings. The way to benefit from those times is to look for the lesson hidden in the experience and not to dwell on the chaos of the moment. For those who insist upon living those trying moments for a lifetime thereafter, life becomes a tragedy. They keep adding the down-drops as if a sum total of them were important. The lessons are. The trauma is not.
Once a person realizes that life is going along without them and that they would be better served to live where life is at this moment, the better off they will be. In fact, they might even realize that they are equipped by their experiences to bless others. Helping others is a sure cure for what ails you.
Now that’s what life should look like!