What if life was easy? What if we received our rewards without the (sometimes grueling) task of achieving them?
Would you appreciate that fancy blue ribbon the coach just handed you, or would you toss it in the drawer next to the other dozen or so ribbons you received earlier this week?

Contrast is everywhere. It’s the stuff that makes “life hard”. It hides in every dark corner; it waits behind every closed door; it sleeps under your bed; and it has been with you from the very beginning.

It’s the same monster from which you hid all those years ago.

You remember him. He’s the one who’s taken up residence underneath your bed; the one who scares you – despite your protective armor of carefully placed blankets.

Sure there are times – if you’re lucky – when someone will rush into the room, temporarily forcing the monster back into the shadows; but he doesn’t stay hidden for too long. He always returns.

But please don’t fret too much about him and his contrast. I promise he’s not here to eat you alive.

Contrast is what helps us grow and learn. Each experience we have provides an incredible opportunity to push beyond what we know – and more importantly – what we’re currently capable of accomplishing. We must learn to embrace contrast, even when it’s in the form of a snarling monster.

Yes, life isn’t easy. The human experience has the potential to make even the strongest warrior crack under the pressure.
But, here’s the thing…

When you feel the weight of the world crushing down on you (from all sides), listen for the monster and his message; discover the opportunity he’s – no doubt – holding out in his hands. Find your reason to grow, and then take a leap of faith.

And if all else fails, read Corinthians 4:8-9.