Still reading the book Failure of Nerve.  He’s writing about how leadership is affected by the way people and people groups in our society want the quickest relief possible even if it isn’t the best way forward.  

Friedman writes,

For there is no way out of a chronic condition unless one is willing to go through an acute, temporarily more painful, phase….we will naturally choose or revert to chronic conditions of bearable pain rather than face the temporarily more intense anguish of acute conditions that are the gateway to becoming free.  But what is also universally true is that over time, chronic conditions, precisely because they are more bearable, also tend to be more withering.

This is very, very true for most of us.  We all do it.  Don’t we?

Could be simple stuff.

We grab McDonalds instead of making our own lunch even though we’ve seen or at least heard of the movie “Super-Size Me.” 

We lay on the sofa watching tv or surfing the internet even though we know its going to make it even harder to get our work done on time. 

Could be not-so-simple stuff.

We ignore the relational elephant in the room with our spouse even though we know that sitting down and talking through the issue would be so much better.  Painful.  But so much better.

We ignore the fact that one of our co-workers has deeply offended us and we “deal with it” even though we know that our work environment would be better in the long term if we sat down and worked it out. Painful.  Hard. But worth it in the long run.

We keep pushing back the emotions from a major loss (not talking about the Cubs here!) so we do’nt have to deal with them even though we know walking through that valley will bring about so much freedom. 

Leaders seek to ignore the hard conversations because it might rock the boat even though we know that the issue would make for a much more healthy community if we just addressed it head on. 

What is your issue? 

How do you seek the “easy way out” that, really, isn’t so easy… 

How are you avoiding pain?