FRANK E. OLOK: Roses are Surrounded by Thorns

Do not feel sad because the roses are intertwined by thorns but be happy because in the intertwinement of thorns there are roses.

Where was God when Jesus was suffering on the cross? Why don’t people throw stones towards a mango tree without fruits? Could it be the reason why a preacher said a good man is like a tea leaf, its strength is seen when it is put in hot water!

Behind everyone’s face lies a story, Doctors, lawyers, teachers, and engineers choose those professions mainly to live a happy life but end up with a common song on their lips, “life is full of challenges”. This makes me to conclude that life was never made to be easy, it’s a journey to travel no matter the obstacles.

The true measure of a man is not how he behaved in moments of comfort but how he stands at times of controversy and challenges. It’s true that challenges during the teenage years prepare a person for the adult world, they foster a belief that challenges are a normal part of life and suggest an agreement that they stimulate growth in a way that good times don’t.

The world is lurching from one crisis to another, we just experienced a global pandemic and now war between Russia and Ukraine. We have remained helpless, overwhelmed by stress and painful grievances of loss and we are uncertain of the next calamity! It’s only a consolation from John Donne that “we are not islands into ourselves ” which can calm down out grief we should hence bond up to believe that there is no way to avoid sorrow but there are ways to smoothen the rough waters and resilience is one way to cope with the loss and challenges. There is no gain without pains and those who have no problems are those in the graves.

Aristotle noted that courage is practiced by enduring situations that evoke fear, it is doing what you are afraid to do for there is no courage unless one is scared. Living and participating in this world takes an enormous amount of courage, the more courageous one is the better one can face the troublesome world. Do not feel sad because the roses are intertwined by thorns but be happy because in the intertwinement of thorns there are roses.

To sum up, life is beautiful just like a rose, very attractive but with thorns around it, these thorns represent challenges. We need to enjoy life but also be prepared to bear the pricks of thorns as we face each day on mother Earth. The rose does not pay attention to the thorns but continues to blossom. Andre Gide noted that someone doesn’t discover new islands without concentrating to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Humanity should take a lesson from the rose by accepting the torments of life. Fr. Dr. Michael Mukasa notes that “The first education a person requires to navigate the stormy waters of this unpredictable life is a sense of connection with God through prayer”. God is as wise as a porter, as a porter knows the fire needed for a pot, so God knows the amount of hardship that should suffice to strengthen humanity. The Son of God suffered until death not that people may not suffer but that their suffering may resemble His, which leads to victory. Keep walking through the storms till your rainbow appears!

The author is; Frank Ekaleet Olok, Alokolum National Major Seminary (Gulu)

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