April 27, 2015

How Trials Produce Beauty

Have you noticed people who go through life without many challenges don’t seem to grow? Their looks may change over the years, but their personality stays the same. Such individuals don’t alter because they don’t see the need. They’re happy with the current condition, even though it may be unproductive.  

Their philosophy is this: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  Well, maybe they are shattered, but they refuse to admit the fact. That’s why their progress is often blocked. One must acknowledge the faultiness of an object/person before it/he can be enhanced. Ask any therapist.

On the contrary, achievers are often forced into change. The transformation may seem to be positive, or negative. However, even undesirable alterations are likely to create desirable outcomes in the long term: 
  • Lost job leads to a better job 
  • Broken relationship makes way for an improved relationship 
  • Friend moves away; new friends move in

Examples of the clay that fell away:
  • Awkward social behavior 
  • Selfishness 
  • Self-centeredness 
  • Old jobs 
  • Despair
Cases of the gold hidden within:
  • Faith 
  • Patience 
  • Kindness 
  • Hope

Note: The Holy Grail is the holiest object in all of Christendom. Its location is unknown and under dispute. It is the chalice (cup) Jesus drank out of at the Last Supper. Some scholars also suppose the sacred cup was used by Joseph of Arimathea to catch the blood of Jesus when he was crucified.

In the latest episode of my favorite TV show, The Artful Detective, Detective Murdoch and his co-workers discover an artifact appearing to be the Holy Grail. It is hidden in a custom-built temple in Toronto, Canada.  The item is evaluated by an expert. At first glance, it appears to be made out of pottery dating to the mid-first century (beyond the lifetime of Christ.)

The item is donated to a local museum because of its historical significance. An administrator of the facility accidentally drops the cup, which shatters the clay exterior. The true form of the interior cup is finally revealed: gold. An unassuming outer shell was hiding the most sacred object known to Christians.

My Conclusion

In my opinion, one of the main purposes of life is to learn and grow. We can’t do that by floating happily through a mediocre, but comfortable, existence. We only improve through change. Transformation is often chaotic and traumatic by its very nature. The only way to access our golden inner beauty is to allow the storms of life to break our plain outer shells.

What golden center have you uncovered?

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