In this post I would like to introduce you to a very important and interesting dynamic in our human experience.
It’s the concept of necessary difficulties.
The famous now psychiatrist Dr. Henry Cloud published a bestseller called Necessary Endings. It’s a very good book and it can help a lot of people in transitioning from one situation to another in their lives.
I am certainly not advocating people should remain stuck in impossible and harmful situations.
But hold on a minute! Could we be missing something before we get too busy defining what necessary endings are all about?
None of us likes difficulties. From the time we are little kids and all throughout our lives we try to avoid difficult things.
We kind of become aware of the whole concept of ‘difficulties’ as we make our way through school. Later on in life we discover that in fact life is full of all kinds of difficulties we have to face on a regular basis. Different people have different degrees of willingness and competency when facing the complexities of life. This can be seen in various m cultures and social contexts.
However‚ it’s really important to point out there are unnecessary and necessary difficulties.
Necessary difficulties trigger pockets of creative thinking and abilities in us‚ which May become critically needed in order to resolve complex situation that pertains to us‚ people we care for or situations we’re involved in.
Unnecessary difficulties are usually created by destructive forces aimed at destroying us and those simply have to be overcome or survived but they don’t have to necessarily involve creative solutions – those May simply require our character or endurance. For example‚ an oppressive government trying to destroy and plunder its own people is not a ‘necessary difficulty’.
Unfortunately in today’s throwaway society I think we’ve lost much of our ability to engage our creative capacity simply because we have short-term commitment to people‚ projects‚ ideas and causes. The slightest difficulty causes people to quickly reorganize themselves and ‘move on’. I believe in ‘moving on’ only after you’ve exhausted every and all avenues in your pursuit of solutions.
Which is why I believe we must understand the difference between necessary difficulties and those that don’t serve any purpose in our lives before we begin to talk about necessary endings.
Joseph didn’t ‘move on’. He was foolish‚ stubborn and childlike enough in his faith to keep holding on to the dreams that God had revealed to him in his youth.
When everybody else abandoned Jesus‚ the disciples didn’t ‘move on’.
Necessary difficulties create an opportunity for us to grow and mature as well as develop a sense of endurance‚ stamina and creative thinking.
Q: List three possible necessary difficulties you’re facing right now – can you see a pattern in how you are reaching deeper into your personal resources and maybe discovering capacity you were previously unaware of?