Opportunity in Adversity

Peter Lowe is a promoter of motivational seminars. Recently, his Success 1997 seminar at the San Jose Arena was attended by some 16,000 people. Peter and his wife, Tamara, shared an experience in their cassette series, Success Talk, that I thought would be valuable for you.

Here is their experience, in Tamara's words:

"We were both sitting on the sofa and crying. We didn't know what to do about the problems that we had. And Peter turned to me and he said, 'I don't know what the answers are, but I know that God knows. Why don't we pray about it.'

"Polls show that 99 percent of Americans pray in times of tough adversity, and we were no exception.

"So Peter began to pray, and as he prayed, his voice sort of trailed off. And in my mind, I saw a picture of two people walking along a very narrow road. The road had steep cliffs on either side of it, and the two people were walking, laughing, having a good time, when, suddenly, they came to this huge wall that was built completely across the road.

"As they looked up, they couldn't see the top of the wall. It went all the way up into the sky. And as they thought about what they were going to do, they realized they couldn't get around it. They couldn't go around the wall, because they'd fall off of the cliffs. They couldn't climb the wall, because it was too steep and too high; there was no way of knowing where it would end. They couldn't burrow under the wall, because who knows how deep the foundation was.

"And as I saw these two people standing on the road, it occurred to me, 'They're in the same situation that we're in. We've come to this wall, and we don't know how to get around it.'

"When, all of a sudden, my point of view changed! And I was looking down on this couple. And it was about that time that I realized that couple was us. ...And as my point of view was shifted and I was being drawn up, the wall was much higher than I ever thought it would be when my point of view was down there on the ground.

"I went higher, and higher; broke through a couple of clouds, and still, there was the wall! And I began to feel a sense of panic! 'When is this thing going to end? It's so huge!'

"Finally, I broke through the top of one white cloud, and, as I looked down, I was able to see the top of the wall. And that's when Peter remembers me laughing!

"I started laughing because I saw that the wall was not a wall at all! It was a huge box that was built in the middle of the road. There were ribbons going up all sides of it, and on the top was a huge bow!

"And I started laughing and I turned to Peter and I said, 'Peter! This isn't a wall! This isn't a problem! This is a present! This is a gift!'

"And, in the days that followed, we still had the same problem, the same set of circumstances. But from that point on, we changed our affirmation; we changed our confession about the situation. And any time we were tempted to get down about it, and feel sad about it, we would tell each other, 'This is a gift. This is going to turn out good. And it's going to be something tremendous, because that box was huge!'

"A few days later, Peter came to me and he said, 'You know, I feel strongly impressed to do a seminar with Zig Ziglar!'

"And I said, 'Really? Well, okay, let's call him!'

"So Peter did call, and I won't tell you all the details, but there was a lot to it. And, If Peter hadn't had such a strong conviction about it, we would have just given up.

"In the end, Zig decided to go ahead and let us do the seminar in New Orleans, which is where we lived.

"The reason that New Orleans was open was because nobody wanted to do a seminar in New Orleans. In our business, it was considered the promoter's graveyard. Nobody had ever come to New Orleans and put on a successful seminar.

"Well, we did the seminar and we had 2,000 people come out to the seminar. It was a tremendous seminar.

"And now, looking back at it, we can see that the point of the greatest adversity was also the point of the greatest opportunity."

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