If we have a particular weakness, life has an uncanny way of trying us at just that vulnerable spot. The man who is anger-prone finds himself forced to work with aggravating people. The woman who can't resist sweets can find no job but one as a pastry cook.

This can seem like sheer perversity on a cosmic scale, until we catch sight of the tremendous opportunity it provides. Between our inner need for growth and our external circumstances, a kind of dovetailing can often be detected. There almost seems to be a master hand behind it all, thrusting us time and time again into the same frustrating situation until finally we relent: "All right, you win — I'll grow if you insist!" This is all that is really expected of us. Once we have made the firm resolve to get ourselves out of the old trap, we will be amazed how quickly our circumstances begin to change, how quickly new opportunities open up for us.

Eknath Easwaran in Words To Live By