So what do we learn from desperation? How can we say that inspiration is produced by desperation? Can desperation be our friend? We have all been there at one time or another – the cold sweats or the sickening of the stomach as we are presented with a challenge that seems totally overwhelming. The initial shock, the process of questioning how could this be happening? Why did this happen to me? What am I going to do? And for some, is life really worth living? An event that causes total desperation! In our personal lives, I can still remember in the late 1970’s when Kay was told she had a growth on her throat, and they were not sure if it was malignant. They would send the test to the lab and give us the results in about seven to ten days; those were the longest ten days of our lives. Each morning and every evening the thought was on our minds. Again, in the mid 1970’s when personal interest rates hit 21% for those of us in business, I had that feeling of desperation as I saw my company begin to lose sales. NULL
As I let all my employees go and had a liquidation sale of all my assets, desperation was there. But you see each of us has encountered the challenges. I think of those who have lost a family member, a child, and I have watched them as they have grown past that initial desperation. We’ve heard story after story about challenges that would make most people no longer desire fellowship with others, that would send most people into total isolation; yet they have stood strong and have for the most part helped others who have had the same challenge they experienced. So what do we learn from desperation? How can we say that inspiration is produced by desperation? Can desperation be our friend? Let’s look at what benefits we receive when we find ourselves in a desperate situation. 1. It makes us reevaluate where we are. We must immediately ask the question, what created this challenge? Is it something I did? What principle did I violate to receive this pain? Could I have done anything differently? Was this totally out of my control?
Desperation makes us stop and readjust to the now. It makes us take inventory of our life and often puts our life back into balance. It forces us to examine our actions.
2. It challenges our character. It either makes us a better person or a bitter person. It makes us lean on the values we have learned that keep us secure in our thoughts and actions. It moves us into a stronger pattern of patience and endurance. We begin to find just how strong we are and how the years have given us the ability to endure much more than we thought possible. 3. It slows us down. Often the diagnosis of a disease immediately slows us down. It makes us look at our activity over the years and how we have treated our bodies and minds. Desperation related to a health challenge drives us to our deepest core values and creates a brand new mindset that says “health is the most important asset we maintain,” and we will work harder to feed our bodies. Desperation as related to health is sometimes the only way God has of saying, “You’re too stressful; slow down.” 4. It makes us consider our faith. I have found in those times of great desperation I move closer to my spiritual beliefs. I am closer in communion with God and begin to search His wisdom instead of relying on my wisdom.
The greatest cure for desperation is HOPE.
No matter what Kay and I have faced, we have always looked towards the future with hope. Hope is the only ingredient that can move a person forward from that slippery slope of desperation. The hope that tomorrow will be a better day, the hope the marriage will get better, the belief and hope that our mate or family member who has become hooked on drugs and alcohol will return totally clean. And for those of us who have lost a loved one, the hope and belief in knowing they are in a much better place. Kay and I have always looked towards hope when we have felt HELPLESS. Whether it is a business not coming together or a much larger family challenge, I wish HOPE on you this day.
We were placed here on earth not to survive but to thrive, to give light to those who have none.
Even during the desperate years of the 1970’s when this nation stood in “stagflation” for more than a decade, when the Dow Jones hit 850 points, when there were gas lines two miles long as we rationed gasoline, and the record was set for bankruptcy, there was new inspiration. For during this time we put the “Skylab” into space, we saw the Concorde fly from Europe to the United States in less than four hours, and we read about a young man who quit college and started a company called Microsoft. Yes, “Desperation is the Mother of Inspiration.”