We desire comfort and luck, but what we need are sacrifice and trust. Yes, comfort is appealing, but it placates people and destroys some deeply human element of ambition. It prevents difficult actions and difficult conversations as we hunker under comfort’s false sense of security and bliss. Life is neither easy nor comfortable, but we love the low hanging fruit of comfort where success is measured by minimal motion and minimal stress.
Comfort shouldn’t be a way of life because it shifts its role from nurturing us to defeating us. Asceticism seems to live in all cultures and religions as people push back against comfort. However, hedonism thrives too and many of us slither between asceticism and hedonism like a snake in a small alley.
Luck is also a fickle friend. We never understand providence as deeply as we think. There is an old story of unclear origin, but it is instructive:
An old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed. “Maybe,” replied the old man.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Maybe,” said the farmer.