Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones - Joseph, King of Dreams [DreamWorks Animation, 2000] - Roast Corn & Ube
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Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones – Joseph, King of Dreams [DreamWorks Animation, 2000]

So, I was watching Joseph, King of Dreams (2000) from DreamWorks Animation, directed by Rob LaDuca and Robert C Ramirez and I was struck, once again, by how opportunities are sometimes disguised as opposition.

Most people talk about how Joseph rose from slave to supervisor, from prisoner to prince. They talk about how his gifts ‘made way for him and brought him before great men.’(The book of Proverbs Chapter 18; Verse 16)

I talk about that too but for some reason, I was fixated on his time in Potiphar’s household. I tried to put myself in shoes; to feel what he felt when he was elevated, to see through his life through his eyes. I don’t know if I succeeded but I surmised that if it was me, who was promoted from the lowest of the low to such heights,  I would be overwhelmed, overjoyed and over the moon. I would have thought that all my Christmases have come at once. It would never occur to me that there would be bigger and better things to come but that it would take a false accusation and imprisonment to push me to even greater heights.

I do question that, you know…why does it have to be or why does God have to use adversity to advance us? I’m not sure I have all the answers but what I do know is that when things are going well for me or when I get used to one good thing, I’m loathe to leave it for another. The only way I usually let go is if I’m ‘pushed’ out.

Sometimes, we hold on to a thing because ‘it ain’t broke’ so why fix it? We hold on because it works, we are comfortable with it and we don’t really see anything better than what we have. Even when we begin to sense deep inside of us that that’s not all there is to life…that if only we step out, we will meet something better, we still hold on.

And so God brings adversity, to loosen us from our ‘stuck’ state and move us into bigger and better…places we could never begin to imagine; heights we thought were too lofty to attain.

Then all of a sudden, it falls into place…what we thought were stumbling blocks were actually stepping stones! And the best thing that could have happened to us, was that we were ‘thrown into prison’ because our release took us straight into the place of kings.

  • Kachi
    Posted at 22:24h, 12 October Reply


    I’m sorry, but this evangelical speeches are sometimes overrated. God doesn’t use ‘adversity’ to advance us. it is we, that has refuse to see the signs to follow to make it easy for us.

    Take for example, the Israelites, they were to be imprisoned for 400 years in Egypt, when Moses came at age 40, to deliver them at the 390th year, the people refused to see the signs, making Moses run away for another 40 years and by that, extending their stay to 430 years.
    silver lining, the adversity advanced some of them??

    Another positive example, Daniel. He understood the time he was in and stretched himself to break it. Can’t remember the story but they were supposed to be in captivity for 70 years, he saw the signs, and reduced it to 68.

    in as much as we are supposed to pass through fire or in better words, stretch ourselves beyond limit (which is necessary) to advance, I really don’t believe we need to pass through adversity to get advanced.

    Now this is not calling Joseph stupid or anything, but I know (do I??) that there must have been better ways for him to be king

    But whatever floats one boats. If one feels that getting thrown into prison will advance him, who am I to stop you from getting jailed?? 😉

    • Obisco1
      Posted at 05:24h, 13 October Reply

      Kachi, I love, love your alternative interpretations!
      Joseph wasn’t blameless. His gift made him proud and I believe the adversity he went through humbled him (even though he didn’t actually imprison himself!)

      I also agree to a great extent that we don’t necessarily have to pass through adversity to be elevated but that sometimes, we NEED to pass through adversity because we are too proud, stubborn or just plain myopic to see that greater things are ahead of us.

    • Adaeze
      Posted at 01:44h, 16 October Reply

      I like the points you raised about unnecessary adversity, sometimes the pains and torment we go through are as a result of our refusal to do the right things when we ought to

  • tessadoghor
    Posted at 03:59h, 13 October Reply

    There were better ways for Joseph to be king?
    Pray, teach us those better ways?

  • SpeakNoEvil
    Posted at 02:02h, 18 October Reply

    I think we emerge as better people only through adversity because we can only enjoy our triumphs if we work hard for it. Now I will result to cliches to clarify: “the finest swords are forged in the greatest fires. Iron sharpens iron.” You get my drift abii?

    Sometimes, we do have to hold on to the things that work even though we think there might be something better out there. The key, I believe, is to find some balance between our contented state and our need to advance ourselves. If we are always looking to that other bigger, shinier thing, we may keep chasing shadows our entire lives without stopping to smell the roses. I always say balance is the key.

    For instance, the post ofilispeaks wrote a few weeks ago about the fisherman and the Harvard business guy may cause some people to believe that the fisherman needs to be pushed to explore his full potential in order to accumulate bigger shinier things, but he has weighed his life and decided that he “ain’t going to fix it if it isn’t broken.”

    Now if someone starts feeling restless or unsatisfied with his/her station in life, then I would encourage the person to not let fear of the unknown keep him/her stuck.

    • Obisco1
      Posted at 07:53h, 18 October Reply

      I take your point; particularly the part about having to hold on to the things that work and finding a balance.
      Insightful as always, SpeakNoEvil. Thanks for visiting and lending your voice.

  • folakemiodoaje
    Posted at 04:53h, 09 November Reply

    I like the part where stumbling blocks were likened to stepping stones. Our attitude towards challenges is important.

    • Obisco1
      Posted at 10:57h, 09 November Reply

      Definitely. The same sun that shines on mud hardens it but melts ice…

  • folakemiodoaje
    Posted at 11:00h, 09 November Reply

    Never hear that “The same sun that shines on mud hardens it but melts ice” definitely going to remember this one!
    Thank you!

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