Editor's note: "The Spoken Word" is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.
The pathway of life has never been a smooth, scenic expressway. Obstacles, roadblocks and rough patches are part of everyone's journey. Some of these are small enough that we can avoid them or simple enough that we can quickly find solutions. And then there are times when we simply have to buckle up and ride it out. Edgar Guest, the well-known poet of the people, expressed it this way (see "See It Through" in "Just Folks"):
When you're up against a trouble,
Meet it squarely, face to face;
Lift your chin and set your shoulders,
Plant your feet and take a brace.
When it's vain to try to dodge it,
Do the best that you can do;
You may fail, but you may conquer,
See it through!
Sometimes troubles are unavoidable and have no easy solutions. In those cases, the best we can do is to keep moving in a positive direction.
When you're riding out your rough roads, it may help to remember times when you've done difficult things in the past — when you've met tough challenges, found healing after a heartache or dealt with people, projects and problems that pushed you to your limits. Perhaps remembering how you've met troubles squarely in the past will give you confidence that you can do it again.
In the meantime, don't forget to find joy in the journey, even when life gives you setbacks and sorrows. Remember that rough spots don't define your road. Look for the blessings you still enjoy.
Recognize all the good in your life, in yourself, and in others. You might even find ways to help and cheer others along their way, and somehow your own path will not seem so rough. Most of all, keep moving forward!
Thousands of years ago, an Old Testament prophet gave a promise to all who face troubles: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; … they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (see Isaiah 40:31).
Before long, the road will straighten out, and because you didn't quit, you'll find yourself closer to where you want to be.