Riley Flack, 5th Period
Word Count: 671
“All you have to do is to pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.” (Coelho, Paulo. The Alchemist. New York: Harper, Collins, 1998.)
It is not always by choice that one is called into a trial or test. Many times, when an individual is thrown out onto the battlefield, they are trapped by their fear and anxiety of failure and inadequacy. However, it appears to occur too often that individuals are searching for success and strength in the wrong places, and every once in a while, all that one needs to do is look towards a different direction for instruction and aid. As Paulo Coelho proclaims in The Alchemist, “All you have to do is to pay attention: lessons always arrive when you are ready, and if you can read the signs, you will learn everything you need to know in order to take the next step.” (pg.143) Imagine being in a time of adversity, when your spiritual faith is anything but strong. Then, in the midst of your skepticism, you are told that you will be counseling and mentoring kids during your church's summer retreat. As my youth pastor finished asking me to commit to being a counselor at Look Up Lodge this year, all I could do was worry about whether or not I was prepared to lead students through their spiritual advancements, considering that I was in my own rough patch spiritually. After searching and seeking an answer to why this season of doubt had hit me, I realized that I was relying solely on my own strength and maturity to advance my spiritual faith, and now, I was doing the same in regards to leading the students. It hit me that if I continued seeking empowerment from myself to do this, I would fail miserably. God spoke to me and reminded me that worldly power will never be able to lead something heavenly. Consequently, the night before camp, I locked myself...