As I sit in a discussion group, I wait my turn to answer the same question as everyone else. As with all memories, the answers were excerpts of good times and intense memories (usually positive or negatives laced with the positive). I realized that my view now had not changed with experience. I felt today as I did as an eight year old. I loved honest conversations. Too often, we skip these conversations. I believe in doing this we miss the opportunity for bad events setting the stage for great insights.
I know there are many reasons I avoid this type of situations. I do not like to tackle conversations where others may come away bruised. Candidly, I do not enjoy knowing that my words hurt others. It is not fun. I do not feel good, even when I know it is necessary. Advance knowledge always builds a barrier within my mind.
I also know that it is hard for anyone, my soul included, to maintain an open mind to the points being made when the subject is difficult. Natural reactions include defensiveness, deafness, and anger. It is as if one’s view of one’s self is being torn apart from the ground up. It feels like an attack, even when you know it is anything but. It often hurts, even when you know it is being done in love.
Additionally, tough conversations rarely end up on a positive note. Usually because they happen spontaneously, the honorable intent that these conversations start with fades with a lack of planning and systemic focus.
Paul had failed twice that he knew of. Even a third attempt was not what God had in mind. It is amazing that Paul was still open. “That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!’ The dream gave Paul his map.” (Acts 16.9) A difficult insight after three well intentioned decisions gave birth to a great opportunity.
Bad “things” in our lives can be gateways to great opportunities.