Here are two really good dog friends, Bugs and Ginger (hi Bugs! hi Ginger!). Bugs is the yellow lab and Ginger is the German Shorthair Pointer. This picture was taken at their home where they happily enjoying the great outdoors. Both are happy hunters.
They HATED it.
Months later, they can finally be together and oh what a difference it makes. They are both much happier with this set-up.
Our society allows people to isolate from others in ways never before possible. It's easy. It's safe. Being with people and their problems is a challenge. We don't understand them and they don't understand us. But staying safe with our emotions and choosing the easy way through life is hardly courageous. When we do something brave like show up some place where we aren't comfortable, we've taken an important step in building our confidence, even if the outcome isn't perfect.
God created people to live in community with each other, despite our mess and imperfections. Yes, overcoming our irritations by enduring them is a much better way to go than avoiding them all together.
Maybe by enduring each others difficulties, as they endure ours, we may come to a place of understanding and patience. In time, perhaps that will turn to understanding and compassion. Eventually, there may even be enjoyment in each others' company. Sure, not always, but sometimes.
And isn't sometimes worth it?