M. Scott Peck wrote in his bestselling book The Road Less Travelled, “life is difficult”.

Yesterday I began writing about the never-ending trials and tribulations encountered while living in Doha. However when I drove into our compound late in the afternoon I passed by a lady with her son – working diligently with him just to take a step up an extra-large curb. This seems like a simple task but in this case, it was not. Very quickly all thoughts of my complaints, whatever they were, seemed quite insignificant.

Her son is in his mid-twenties. Not long after finishing secondary school he had a bad fall which resulted in his being hospitalized, in a coma. His mother and others sat at his bedside for well over a year never giving up hope that he would come to. He did just that – sometime into the second year I think it was, and they have been working on his rehabilitation ever since.

We don’t really know these folks. So, generally we just wave or say hello as we pass one another, as one does with their neighbours. Therefore I don’t know all the details or what his prognosis was, or is, but can only speak of what I’ve observed from a distance.

I’m guessing it’s been about three years now since he’s been home. Whenever I see him he’s with a family member, neighbour or friend, who’s spending time with him. The family is about ‘4 houses and 1 tennis court over’ from the pool, but it might take them 30 minutes to walk there. Holding both his hands outstretched, whoever’s assisting walks backwards allowing him to move forwards ever so slowly, one step at a time. With a gradual well-planned and careful series of movements, he gets into the pool. I’m sure having access to a pool to work on movement, has been a blessing. At other times I’ve seen him with a friend in one of the malls. Again, the friend’s holding on to him and slowly helping him along. Always, there appears to be a whole community helping him and his family.

Although I won’t bore you with the trivialities of the others, I do just want to mention one of the difficulties I encountered yesterday first thing in the morning. I was trying to watch live coverage of the Olympics skating which has not been an easy task from over here. I was successful after using live internet TV services, 2 laptops and a friend from Canada on Skype as back-up. And how did the Olympic ice dancing competition turn out? Canada’s Virtue, Moir win ice dance Gold! Their performance was absolutely spectacular and I was so appreciative to be able to watch it, live, with fellow Canadians!

Nothing comes easy in this life. I’m not sure it’s supposed to.

If it were easy would the Gold Medal mean as much for the two young Canadians up on the podium?

The family I mentioned certainly knows the meaning of life being difficult. But what joy it must bring them now as each new task is accomplished with enduring efforts and love from so many, and perhaps a little grace from God.

My life’s difficulties are minuscule if I can even call them that. They are meant to test my diligence, my discipline and my strength of character. If I fail to manage the small ones that come along each day how will I ever overcome those daunting challenges which are sure to come my way from time to time? And if it were all so easy what joy would I miss out in meeting them?

Tomorrow I will try, try again.