There is a tension I want to bring to your attention.
Discomfort Avoidance <———————–> Joyful, Meaningful Life
When we avoid pain or various forms of discomfort, we seldom have the joy of living with a satisfying sense of meaning and purpose. It seems we live in a society that attempts to have it both ways, saying,
‘I’ll enjoy living with a joyful sense of meaning and purpose while managing my life to avoid discomfort. I’ll have both, thank you very much!’
That’s me sometimes – and maybe you, too. I’m noticing that when I hold that perspective, I end up feeling like I’m drifting through life, not accomplishing much of anything.
When I wake up, grow up, and fess up, I know that is not the way the world works – and it’s not the way God works either.
The truth is, struggle is necessary for growth, but more importantly, it is necessary for a life of faith. God never promises a life free from discomfort. He knows we’ve been plopped down into a fallen word that requires an attachment to him to live the adventure we were made for. His desire is to work with us and through us to bring a bit of heaven to earth. Pain avoidance isn’t really the goal of life, so why do I try to live as if it is?
I want to live wisely – to be open and vulnerable to how God is forming me, and to be willing to risk discomfort to make some ripples that will benefit others.
Questions to Ponder:
- For you, what is worthy of risking discomfort?
- What are the consequences of avoiding discomfort right now?
- What would you find courage to do if you embraced struggle as a natural, survivable, necessary element of pursuing joy and meaningful living?
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