I heard a really great story that I can't stop thinking about. It was told by this preacher guy named Joel Osteen from the States. He's quite a story teller. Very engaging. For some reason I just found this particular story really memorable. (Thanks Mr Osteen for the inspiration...)
It was the story of an old farmer named Jacob. He had a big piece of land and he was out one day with his donkey, walking his land. Suddenly his mule fell into an old well. Bewildered, Jacob stared down into the well and couldn't see the animal. So, feeling horribly badly, he made a tough decision. He figured the old donkey was probably killed when it fell into the hole. So he rounded up a bunch of his fellow farmers and they all gathered at the well and started to shovel dirt into the hole; figuring it was probably for the best to just close the thing up for good.
One by one the farmers started shoveling dirt into the old well.
The donkey, who had been knocked unconscious by the fall, was startled awake by the first few loads of dirt that hit his back. Realizing he was trapped, but not wanting to die, he shook the dirt off his back. But the dirt just kept coming in.
So every time a pile of dirt was thrown onto his back, the donkey would keep shaking it off. As he shook, the dirt piled at his feet. And as the dirt kept coming in, he kept shakin' it off and it kept piling up, and piling up. Soon, enough dirt piled up that the donkey could step right up on that pile of dirt. So - dirt was thrown on his back, he'd shake it off, and step up. Over and over. He just kept shaking it off and stepping up.
Until finally so much dirt had piled up that the lucky lil' donkey's ears appeared at the edge of the well, much to the surprise of all those hard working farmers shoveling away. I think it's funny, don't you, that sometimes what feels like dirt being thrown onto our backs actually ends up being what saves our lives and elevates us to a whole new level.
So - just shake it off. And step up.