When astronauts return to earth after an extended stay in space their muscles have to readjust to the downward pull of gravity. Gravity is what creates weight. If one wants to weigh half as much, all one needs to do is move to a planet with half the gravitational pull. It is the pull that keeps our muscles toned. Those pictures advertising electronic stimulation of the muscles promising wonderfully cut bodies are just not true. Muscles develop in reaction to resistance. Finely cut bodies are the result of disciplined hours of resistance training.
In a similar fashion our minds only develop to higher levels of performance when challenged. Study, memorization, and critical thinking all contribute to keener perception. Just as a couch potato gets soft and squishy so our brains lose their edge when fed a diet of sitcoms. Resistance, hard work and discipline apply across each aspect of our lives. Our physical, mental and spiritual natures grow stronger when challenged.
If you are a conservative be thankful for the presence of liberals. If you are a liberal rejoice because there are conservatives present. The conservatives hold on to tradition and values that come from centuries of lessons learned. Liberals stimulate growth and change with new ideas. When each resists the other something good occurs for the whole.
Jesus understood this. That is why in Matthew 5 He told us to rejoice when difficulties come. They make us stronger.
Written May 8, 2002