Four Ways to Conquer Obstacles

By: Carol McClain    carol_mcclain

Ciao, my impish orange and white cat, jumped onto the ledge by my bathtub

and knocked a handmade piece of pottery to the tile floor.

Of course, the one-of-a-kind piece broke into pieces. What remained would not be glued back together

My husband discovered the mess and brought it to me. Sorrow laced his voice as he let me know what had happened.

Here I had two choices:

  1. Mourn because I could never replace this unique piece.
  2. Take the shards to my  studio and create my own mosaic work of art from it.


I chose the latter.

It brings to mind an apocryphal quote from the famed violinist Itzhak Perlman. Supposedly a few bars into a concert, his violin string broke. He paused. Playing on four strings is hard enough–three? Unless one’s well into the piece, it’s best to re-string and start over. Instead, Perlman thought, then nodded to the conductor, and proceeded to play a once in a lifetime performance.

Snopes casts some doubt on the authenti

city of this event. Still, the quote that allegedly came from the famed violinist, resonates with me. “…(S)ometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can make with what you have left.”

How to overcome obstacles

  1. First, always, is to pray. You need to know if God is redirecting your steps or stopping you from heading down the wrong path.
  2. Be persistent. Steven James, a well respect, best-selling Christian author, was rejected with his earliest works. Instead of tossing them and becoming an auto mechanic or a brain surgeon, he reworked them and resubmitted them. Success came his way.
  3. Change directions to get to your goal. If a tree falls in the middle of the road during a storm, you can make a turn and get home by an alternate route. Same destination–different direction–God’s timing. Need a new car but don’t have the finances? Try mass transportation, car pooling, bike riding. If you live in the boondocks like me? See step one. If it’s necessary, God will provide it.
  4. Make what you have work.  I’d love to write for Revell or Harvest House or Nelson Publishers. It hasn’t happened. However, I can write for CBN or Desert Breeze or on my blog or self-publish. Ultimately, having done steps one, two and three and still hearing God’s voice, I know He’ll lead me where He wants me to be.

What obstacles are you facing? How are you conquering them? How can I pray for you? If you comment, I will pray.


  1. Brenda Palmer says:

    Great blog today.. very encouraging

    • Carol McClain says:

      Thank you, Brenda. My prayer is to encourage others with the knowledge that I’ve discovered.

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