Kahlil Gibran says in The Prophet – “pain is the breaking of the shell of your understanding.”
Imagine watching a chick hatch out of its egg. The chick has a little thorn on its beak to help it crack its way out of the shell. It is a tremendous struggle for the chick to bang and beat against the shell to break its way out.
What if a person felt sorry for the chick – sorry for all its hard work, struggles and stress and decided to help by pulling away some of the bits of shell, so it wouldn’t have to work so hard?
Well, that’s a great example of competing with and being in God’s business, because the process has already been perfectly designed for millennium. The process is designed to help the chick to build the muscles it will need to stand up and be on its own in the world when it gets out of the shell. By design, the struggle and stress is the growth step the chick needs to stand on its own, outside its egg.
It’s a bit out of fashion these days, but our struggles and stresses are here to help us build character. They are divinely designed to help us become more. To help us find out what we want, who we are, where we want to go next, what we want to do, be and say in the world.
And it isn’t punishment, as we so often interpret it. The Divine is not some big disciplinarian authority in the sky. The pain we feel most often is the pain of going against who we are, and betraying what we love and value most. It’s an inside job, because we have not been true to ourselves. It’s like a warning signal that we keep ignoring, until the alarm is going off so loudly, it hurts us. But we are in charge of all that – we can choose to always be honest, to be in integrity with what matters to us, to make between our ears and our own space a sovereignty of peace, truth, justice and prosperity, and bring that to all our relationships and interactions. By cleaning up out one drop, the ocean of civilization becomes cleaner.
But not because we are trying to help, as we learned with the little chick! Trust the process, even if you haven’t seen a map for it. Nature, divinity, life, intelligence all exist outside the confines of human explanation. So often there has been a push to limit what is real to what we can see with physical eyes or measure, but we all know that life is about 85% what is unseen by the physical eye.
Sure, there are also the self- generated or exaggerated stresses and struggles of perfect pictures and controlling, fear, and the like. But they are part of the design as well.
Truly – nothing is wasted.