The Bible has some interesting words about finding joy in hardship. Our traditional interpretations of these passages - at least the ones I am familiar with - tend to limit and relegate this concept to necessity only. However, after long living a life devoted to maximizing efficiency and avoiding difficulty at every turn, I was scraping the ice off my car window this morning and pondering the concept.
I thought to myself "if I had realized my car window would be frosted, I would have started my car 20 minutes ago so that I would not have to scrape my windows right now." And then I thought, "sometimes when it is especially cold, I will prefer to sit in my car and wait for the windows to defrost instead of taking a few moments to scrape them." Further, "I am so smart for avoiding scraping my windows." Into, "wait, am I smart for avoiding scraping my windows? It is faster, uses less fuel and requires a small effort on my part which is good for me. Isn't scraping my window just effort over inconvenience? Why is it important to me to avoid doing this? The discomfort isn't extreme and there is a satisfaction in knowing I've accomplished something." Which led finally to, "perhaps there is much, much more to the concept of finding joy in hardship than I have ever considered before. Perhaps working through hardship is healthy and satisfying - like any work. Perhaps it is integral to being alive. A life with no hardship is possibly just bland and a bit pointless."
Then I thought, "my parents would scoff at me for comparing window scraping to hardship. Maybe hardship truly is only grief-inducing tragedy and I am just way off-base here. Maybe the verse really should be relegated to its typical limitations. Maybe hardship is to be avoided at all costs. Maybe I am just insane."
So, I will have to ponder this at greater length.