We spend every day of our lives trying to avoid it. We spend every minute in it trying to escape. Turmoil. The fear of it keeps us hidden and shackled, careful to the point of crippling.
Is it possible that uproar is actually good for us?
Consider the movies we watch and the books we read. They are driven by turmoil. No great story starts happy and ends happy with nothing but happy in the middle. Tension drives our stories, both fiction and reality. It makes life what it is.
We do ourselves a disservice when we rush through tension. If our goal is to make life easy and comfortable, we are missing the value of tension, the benefit turmoil has in our lives. Although it hurts and it is hard, suffering is not all bad. That’s because life is not about self-preservation but self-growth. Here are seven ways turmoil helps us to grow and, thus, adds value to our lives:
We spend most of our lives numb. Asleep. The only way to protect ourselves from pain is to prevent ourselves from feeling. We are a people of apathy. Poisoned by complacency.
When turmoil enters our story, it awakens us to what really matters. It forces us to ask hard questions, to wrestle with meaning, and to evaluate the world around us. More often than not, this leads to change.
Turmoil often jolts us to life. It reminds us of frailty and convicts us of purpose. It pulls the curtain back to show how worthless our days of apathy are and how much more important things are out there. Turmoil is often an alarm clock interrupting our slumber.
2) Manifests Character
Consider the greatest heroes the world has known. Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Jesus, Churchill, etc… The greatest characters are revealed in turmoil. And the character of each of us is revealed in turmoil. There are few heroes in history of which this can be written – things were great when they arrived and great when they departed.
When the proverbial poo hits the fan, all of our careful performances get shattered. The curtain is flung back and we are forced to make the kinds of difficult decisions that reveal who we truly are.