Hindsight really is 20/20. If faced with the simple cut-and-dry question of asking to sacrifice for a time things that were perishable to gain what was eternal, then the obvious answer is “yes.” But when you’re in the middle of the suffering, with the end not in sight and the very existence of the end in question, then the suffering becomes not the path to gain but the instrument of your meaningless suffering. This is the strength of the virtuous and the stumbling block of the weak. The strong believe they are gaining from their sufferings, while the weak do not.
Truly, attitude — the question of where our destination lies — is everything.
Closing thoughts by C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity:
But there is one thing we have not yet taken into account. We have not asked where the fleet is trying to get to, or what piece of music the band is trying to play. The instruments might be all in tune and might all come in at the right moment, but even so the performance would not be a success if they had been engaged to provide dance music and actually played nothing but Dead Marches. And however well the fleet sailed, its voyage would be a failure if it were meant to reach New York and actually arrived at Calcutta.
Morality, then, seems to be concerned with three things. Firstly, with fair play and harmony between individuals. Secondly, with what might be called tidying up or harmonising the things inside each individual. Thirdly, with the general purpose of human life as a whole: what man was made for: what course the whole fleet ought to be on: what tune the conductor of the band wants it to play.