I was talking to my son and one of his friends in the car last night as I drove them to basketball practice. We began to talk about life and struggle. The topic came up regarding financial struggles as they discussed a family that was once rich and now are poor, and I mentioned to Sean's friend Caleb that all families have times of struggle.
I began to wonder if our children really know what struggle is all about.
I attempted to explain that when a person has to struggle through experiences, that is a time when virtue and character can be developed and built.
I didn't want the two young men to get the wrong idea, the idea that if a person is financially struggling, or even struggling in another arena, that that has to be a negative situation, but rather just a part of life, at least a part of life in our culture, and especially in our lives.
I think people, young and old can be so brainwashed by TV shows, movies, etc., implying that life should run perfectly, no worries, and always sailing along without a care in the world. This concept isn't realistic, or even really desirable if we expect to continue to develop spiritually.
I don't know about you, but I would suspect that the most significant self-realizations and spiritual growth situations that you have experienced have somehow been related to a period in your life with struggle.
Yes, struggle is painful, It hurts, it can even leave us feeling wounded and vulnerable, but it also leads to a newly acquired status.
(What does he mean by this?)
Well, think of a women in labor, her pain, her struggle of the birthing process (For the men reading this article, we have no idea, but just go along with this and pretend you get my drift) and what is produced from this painful process?
The most beautiful creation imaginable: A Child.
So, isn't the same process evident in our spiritual growth when we embrace struggle and apply the painful journey toward self-reflection and God's revelation in our lives. We are given a gift while enduring the struggle, usually gaining heightened self-understanding, possibly even a different perspective on life, and even a changed understanding of our relationship with God, all in a way that changes us permanently.
Embracing the struggle in our lives can give us
nothing less than spiritual and moral growth.
Maybe the virtue of perseverance has been lost by many, but I am frequently amazed at the hidden strength in so many of the people around me, especially in those that initially appear weak and feeble; they are often a source of strength beyond my imagination.
I pray that my children learn that struggle in our lives will come and go, but the lessons learned by how we embrace those situations, how we persevere, and how we grow as a result of those struggles, eventually form and continue to mold who we are and who we were designed by God to become.....
Free Will and All