From Spartan Up! — a daily devotional dedicated to peak performance:
“We’ve been conditioned to think that we as a society should spend tremendous resources eliminating obstacles from our lives rather than teaching people how to surmount them. ‘Easy’ is the greatest marketing hook of all time. Six-pack abs? Easy, buy this gizmo. Great physique? Easy, take this pill. Want people to notice you? Easy, plastic surgery.
“Unfortunately, the effect these so-called solutions have on obstacles is the opposite of their intent. When the most difficult obstacle that you encounter in everyday life is finding the will to get up off the couch and and walk to the fridge, then that is the level of difficulty you are prepared to survive. When you are confronted with the life-equivalent of a twelve-foot greased wall (getting laid off, getting divorced, losing a loved one), you’ll be squashed like a bug on a windshield.
“So when obstacles smack you in the face, be thankful. You will become more prepared to better survive the challenges life will inevitably throw at you!”
What a bold, counter-intuitive thought: be grateful for obstacles. Not an easy idea to wra our heads around, but it’s hard to deny the value of this attitude or the view that the more obstacles we overcome, the stronger we’ll be. While this passage focuses getting stronger physically, it’s also about getting stronger mentally. We can take the direct path and tackle whatever obstacles are facing us in our creative work: lack of time, lack of support, rejection, completion challenges. Or we can try to avoid these and fritter away whatever results we’ve achieved.
So let’s get stronger. Let’s see adversity as just another tool in our creative kit bag — a tool that sharpens and improves us. If we tackle whatever obstacle is in front of us right now in this spirit, then, like the angel Jacob wrestled with, that obstacle will ultimately bless us. Write on!
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