“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger people! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for power equal to your tasks.” ~ Phillips Brooks …
Phillip is not saying that we should pray for a difficult life–no one wants a difficult life, nor should they. Rather, here he is saying that tragedy is going to befall each of us; and when it does, we need to be able to confront it with the confidence and resolve that can only be found by weathering the many difficulties, and overcoming the many challenges, we are faced with.
To become better at tennis, I have to push myself by training against those who are better than me. We become stronger by challenging ourselves to learn, to develop, and to grow. When we set our sights too low, or seek the easiest way through the challenges that we face instead of tackling them head-on, the low expectations that we embrace hinder us from realizing our full potential. As a result, we remain weak, shallow, and vulnerable.
Instead of praying for an easy life, we should pray for challenges that will help us to grow into stronger individuals. A runner who never pushes himself or herself past an easy pace or a short distance will never improve their speed or stamina. A guitar player who never practices anything but three chords will never be able to play Stairway to Heaven.
Our lives reflect the effort we put into them. When we put little effort in, life might seems difficult. Yet when we accept that we will be faced with challenges, and pray for the strength to meet those challenges, we find ourselves confronted with the kind of growth that will help us to effectively deal with trials that are perhaps more difficult next time. And trust me… those challenges will come.
Pray for strength to walk steadfast through the journey of life.
Questions to consider:
What value does an easy life produce? What about a difficult one?
Does shirking from difficulty actually bypass or create problems in life?
Do you pray for an easier life or for greater powers to meet the difficulties of life? Why?
For further thought:
“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” ~ Aeschylus 525-456 BC, Agamemnon