We tend to gravitate naturally toward a state of equilibrium and comfort, because it feels good. –And most of us like feeling good. But without a certain amount of stress, even our bones don’t grow. While we seem to understand facts like this about our bones, it’s much more difficult to accept the premise that we also need to be challenged and stretched both emotionally and spiritually in order to grow.

In a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, Nassim Nicholas Taleb makes the comment, “Newspapers discuss post-traumatic stress disorder, but nobody seems to account for post-traumatic growth.”  He goes on to postulate that any society remains in a fragile state if it can’t collectively grow, adjust, and recover from unexpected, life-changing events. I would add that these events, while painful, also carry within them the necessary seeds to germinate new growth.

The same may also be said of our faith.  When our faith is tried and tested; when we meet adversity with patience, and an eventual acceptance of whatever situation we find ourselves in, our faith grows. We become stronger, and our faith hardens into a state that Taleb might call “anti-fragile.”  That is, we become much more able to manage change and the pain of unanticipated events.

Cracking and shattering into bits of broken glass, and stubbornly refusing to move on when life gets hard, does not improve our situation, nor does it afford us the chance to strengthen and improve who we are. Choose faith.