“By then I wasn’t just asking questions; I was being changed by them. I was being changed by my prayers, which dwindled down nearer and nearer to silence, which weren’t confrontations with God but with the difficulty–in my own mind, or in the human lot–of knowing what or how to pray. Lying awake at night, I could feel myself being changed–into what, I had no idea.”
~ Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow
Sometimes discomfort is good. It’s that annoying grain of sand in your shoe that chafes just enough to irritate at first; but continues, relentless, until you stop what you’re doing and remove your shoe and shake it out.
Sometimes discontentment is a catalyst. It irritates and we become fixated and to wrestle for one more night seems unbearable and finally, maybe begrudgingly at first, we step forward and take a first step toward something.
Sometimes we start down a certain path and a door closes and it makes us prickly.
Then then we realize that we didn’t want to go through that door at all, and that the closing is a blessing because we almost missed another door that opens wide and welcoming.
Or, we sit down in the darkness, cranky and self-justified, bemoaning the closed door and unwilling to see the glimmer of light shining through the crack of another open door.
Or, there isn’t another open door but we know what we know and closed doors don’t change a thing. We step back. We seek confirmation that this thing is ours to do. Then, we try the knobs on other doors until one finally opens and we step across the threshold and just do what we need to do.
And we feel better.
And life goes on.
And maybe something wonderful happens, or maybe it doesn’t, but we rest easy because at least we have done what we knew we were supposed to do.
And in that there is reward.