The Great Barrier Reef stretches some 1,800 miles from New Guinea to Australia. Tour guides regularly take visitors to view the reef. On one tour, a traveler asked the guide an interesting question.
“I noticed that the lagoon side of the reef looks pale and lifeless, while the ocean side is vibrant and colorful”
the traveler observed. “Why is this?”
The guide gave an interesting answer:
“The coral around the lagoon side is in still water with no challenge for its survival. It dies early. The coral on the ocean side is constantly being tested by wind, waves, and storms — surges of power. It has to fight for survival every day of its life. As it is challenged and tested, it changes and adapts. It grows healthy. It grows strong. And it reproduces.”
Then he added this telling note: “That’s the way it is with every living organism.”
That’s how it is with people. Challenged and tested, we come alive! Like coral pounded by the sea, we grow. Physical demands can cause us to grow stronger. Mental and emotional stress can produce tough-mindedness and resiliency. Spiritual testing can produce strength of character and faithfulness.
So, you have problems ? No problem! Just tell yourself, “There I grow again!”
May our days always be challenged and tested so that we grow with each passing day. Like a friend once wrote in her Friendster shootout: Growing old is compulsory, but growing up is optional.
“Only by contending with challenges that seem to be beyond your strength to handle at the moment we can grow more surely toward the stars”