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This Is Our Hill and These Are Our Beans

This is our hill and these are our beans

Photo Credit: mikerolls via photopin cc

This Is Our Hill…

Lieutenant Frank Drebin (as played by Leslie Nielson in the Naked Gun movies) once famously said, “It’s a topsy-turvy world, Jane, and maybe the problems of two people don’t amount to a hill of beans, but this is OUR hill, and these are OUR beans.”

Have you ever thought about the hills that life has dealt you? The unique set of circumstances that you have experienced?

I’m not talking about situations with predictable outcomes based on simple cause and effect. If you are a habitual speeder, for example, life didn’t throw you a curve ball with those 13 tickets you’ve gotten over the years. Other life events–though they may happen to others, too–seemed destined for you.

  • You were a star athlete who endured an injury that abruptly ended a promising career.
  • You have always been able to make money quickly when you needed it.
  • Your dad left just as you were entering those difficult middle school years.
  • The right person of influence noticed you.
  • You made a seemingly innocuous statement that brought you all kinds of trouble.
  • You faced an overwhelming medical issue. Maybe you’re facing one now.
  • You have a child with special abilities or special needs. Or both.

Why?

Have you ever put together the puzzle of your life’s circumstances and wondered why? Why this hill? Why me?

This is our hill and these are our beans

Photo Credit: cookbookman17 via photopin cc

…And These Are Our Beans

Some people spend their whole lives wondering why and pondering the “if only’s.”

  • If only my parents would have…
  • If only I had been able to…
  • If only this hadn’t happened to me…
  • If only…

Others–maybe with different words–take on the philosophy of Frank Drebin: “This is our hill and these are our beans.” I wrote last week about some of my friends who undauntingly faced some of most difficult life situations that I could imagine with grace. And faith. I think of others:

  • I met Mike once when he came to my small group with his wife. His shift at work changed, and he never came again. The next time I saw him was two years later, when he walked into my office facing a choice between his bottle and his family. He chose wisely and has never looked back.
  • Another friend of mine knows the life of an addict, having been one himself. His home is always open to others who might default back to addictive behaviors if his hospitality wasn’t waiting for them, especially on holidays.
  • Two of my former students have faced enormous medical issues with their son. I am saddened by how fast this young couple had to grow up in their marriage, but others now look to them as an inspiration. They are overcomers. 

This is OUR hill and these are OUR beans.

It’s a declaration that no, we may not have chosen our circumstances, but yes, we are going to make the most of them. For the last couple of months, I have been writing a book of my faith stories from the last 30 years.  Time has quite a way of producing perspective. I see the circumstances that life has thrown at our family through the years and how one step of faith led to another to another to another. Exciting and mundane. Expected and unexpected. Hopes realized and hopes dashed. The sum total of life and how we’ve chosen to respond to it.

This is OUR hill and these are OUR beans.

What hills have shaped your life? How has your worldview caused you to respond to them?

Thanks for reading. I look forward to the ensuing conversations.

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel (and 52 Other Re-Told Childhood Tales) and Stories from the Roller Coaster, available on Amazon in paperback and for Kindle/Kindle app.

About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

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