SLD Blog

Challenge by Choice

I envisioned our recent SLD Department Retreat day as “an adventure waiting to happen.” As with prior departmental retreat days, we tend to bond in nature or in some form of adventure. This time we were walking into team building activities, a ropes course and a 35-foot rock wall. There were some in our group who had mixed feelings about these team building activities. There were those who were a little apprehensive about heights, the testing of skills with balance, and the unknown of whether or not we would succeed. Like the others, I had no idea if I could successfully accomplish these tasks, but I was up for the challenge.

As we gathered that morning, we were all asked about how we were feeling at that moment, and say one goal we wanted to accomplish that day. Everybody shared their response, and we heard this simple phrase, “challenge by choice”.

We each had a choice to participate in the activity, or not. We had a choice to overcome our anxieties or allow them to overcome us. We had a choice to trust that our teammates would support us through the challenge. I see this pertaining in my everyday life. Challenge by choice. Daily life can be challenging with the pressures of balancing the roles we represent, but by the grace of God, He will be by my side through each challenge. At the end I can look back and say that it was a choice that I could have done it alone, but the struggle would be worse, and the outcome may have failed. We can see a challenge as a way to push ourselves forward, or to resist from moving forward if we allow the anxieties and pressures win. So, yes, “challenge by choice” is how I want to view the ups and downs that come my way. Am I willing to make it a challenge, or am I willing to let it be a lesson in bettering myself?

James 1:12 says, “Anyone who meets a testing challenge head-on and manages to stick it out is mighty fortunate. For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” (The Message)

I have never been able to face a challenge without God by my side and succeed.  I know that I don’t have to face challenges alone because I have the support of my family, friends and coworkers. What challenges are you facing today? Are you going to make it a challenge by choice, or let the support around you guide you through the process?

“…For such persons loyally in love with God, the reward is life and more life.” James 1:12 (The Message)

By the way, our whole team participated in every activity. Apprehensions were faced with courage. Challenges were met together. Anxieties were overcome that day, fun was had by all, and we have the pictures to prove it (click here to see the rest of the pictures from that day).
by Joanna Polarek
SLD Resource Development Coordinator

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