I love underdog stories. Some of my favourite Biblical passages are about Joseph and Moses who overcame huge obstacles and achieved incredible things. I love movies like Cool Runnings, Remember the Titans, Braveheart, Gladiator… I could go on. All are stories of people coming through and achieving something special.

There’s only one problem. All these stories are condensed and as a result it’s impossible to appreciate the time scale. When we listen to someone telling us about how they overcame adversity, we filter out the adversity part and latch onto the overcoming bit. The same thing happens with our own memories. We seem to filter out the pain we had to endure and only really remember the joy of overcoming. I’ve been through some ‘stuff’ and I found that period difficult, but I don’t remember, or better still, I can’t feel the pain anymore.

It’s great for protecting yourself from past hurts, but not so helpful for preparing for future endeavours. I find that when I set off on a new quest, I know where I’m at, I know where I want to go, but without fail I’m always surprised by how long or how monotonous the journey gets. The transition from hope to reality is often a drawn out and even a little tedious. I guess you can’t escape paying your dues. And in a way, the process makes reaching the destination that much more fulfilling.

Still, had I a magic wand, I’d use it to speed things up! For my sake, it’s probably a good thing that I don’t and I have to go through the motions like everyone else. Who knows, it might even make me a better person.


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