Progress—"the law of God"

A young man I know just recently finished his college education. He could finally look back on his academic career and feel a solid sense of accomplishment about the progress he had made. There had been struggles, but he had persevered, pulled his grades up, and graduated on the dean's list. Another young person, a teenage girl, tried out for her high-school field hockey team when she was a sophomore. She hadn't played the sport before, but she worked hard and, by the time she was a senior, the team elected her as one of its cocaptains.

There other examples come to mind. A man whose family business seemed to be on the verge of bankruptcy refused to give up. He took every step he knew in an honest effort to turn the business around. But even more than that, he earnestly prayed through that difficult period and followed God's leading. The business survived. A woman was facing terrific difficulties in her marriage, yet she knew how important it was to preserve all the good that was shared between her husband and herself. She too found the way to face the challenge by turning to God, and the marriage was restored. And there was a young man who suffered from a debilitating physical difficulty that recurred almost weekly. As he found his life being transformed by a spiritual awakening and a growing sense of his unity with God, the physical illness simply faded away.

To some, these may all seem like "success stories" that don't realistically portray most of human experience. Many people could feel they haven't seen much success in their own lives. Not everyone graduates with honors. Not every business succeeds. Not every marriage survives. Yet the examples mentioned here are intended to show something of the broad range of possibilities for individual progress in contemporary life. And overcoming challenges, in the little things as well as the big things, should be encouraging to all of us. Whether progress is realized in a high-school-girl's experience as she finds her place on an athletic team or in a situation clearly more serious—such as saving a marriage—all the work, effort, and sacrifice that move human life forward are worth honoring.

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The angels of healing—sweet and tough
August 9, 1993

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