“Some folks have a wishbone instead of a backbone.” — J.C. Penney
Have you seen the 1970’s film Where the Red Fern Grows? It’s one of our family’s wholesome favorites. Billy Coleman is an dirt poor adolescent boy who desperately wants coon dogs. His dream is to acquire a pair of excellent hounds so he can go “coon hunting” and join the hunting contest that happens every year in his part of the Ozarks.
His journey to getting the pups is littered with hardship, sweat, tears and hard work.
At one early point in the film, he has this conversation with his grandfather:
Billy: I don’t know, Grandpa. Sometimes I don’t think God wants me to have dogs.
Grandpa: Now, why do you say a thing like that?
Billy: Well, I’ve been asking him for dogs as long as I can remember and nothin’s happened yet!
Grandpa: Maybe you haven’t done your fair share.
Billy: What do you mean?
Grandpa: Well, it’s been my experience God helps those who help themselves. Now, don’t get me wrong. If God wanted to, he could give you hounds as easy as cuttin’ lard. But that wouldn’t do much for your character.
Billy: I don’t want character! I want coon dogs!
My husband and I have repeated that line countless times.
It’s deep down in all of us, perhaps?
We want the glory without the guts. The crown without the cross. The gain without the pain.
Although we naturally resist pain, strain and struggle, the lineup of blood, sweat and tears can accomplish something positive in us.
Life challenges actually help build character. Through hard work and deep challenges, we often end up:
- sharpening our vision
- gaining a deeper, harder, stronger work ethic
- developing qualities that make us a good leader
Next time, I will explore how adversity can build STRENGTH.
Comment if you can 🙂
(c) Lisa M. Luciano
Coon dogs:Lorca Wiles