On Overcoming Difficulties

A daily calendar that I have in my studio had this wonderful quote by John R. Mott yesterday,

“Difficulties are not without their advantages. They are not to unnerve us. They are not to be regarded simply as subjects for discussion nor as grounds for skepticism and pessimism. They are not to cause inaction, but rather to intensify activity. They were made to be overcome. Above all they are to create profound distrust in human plans and energy, and to drive us to God.”

This perspective became especially relevant when I was talking with one of my students yesterday about her composition efforts. She is a gifted composer, but has been focusing on other things lately in her music studies, so it’s been over a year since she turned out a full composition. She grew frustrated this past week while trying to pull together some ideas and told me how she finally had to just take a break and spend some time praying and give it over to God. Her story reminded me of the quote, so I read it to her.

It was a huge encouragement for her to know that she’s on the right track and should press on to overcome the difficulty she’s experiencing in composing (and of course this can relate to lots of other areas of musical study as well!). It will be exciting to see if anything comes together for her by her next lesson!

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