The Purpose of Trials in Fruits Basket
I have a tendency to shirk away from challenge. Complacency is a hole I feel I constantly find myself climbing out of. If I can avoid it or procrastinate, I usually do. It’s much easier to shove something into a metaphorical box and go watch Youtube videos then actually work through it.
Spiritually in my life, this is something God will tolerate for only so long. As always, God cares much more about me than I do about myself and wants me to have life in abundance, even if that means significant challenge.
There is one scene in Fruits Basket between Kyo and his master/father figure Kazuma that made me think about how sometimes God’s plan for my life and my desire to not deal with challenge, ever, come to a head.
As the cat of the zodiac, Kyo is the most cursed of all of the Sohmas. As part of his curse, he turns into a horrific beast if he doesn’t wear a set of beads and will be confined to a place on the Sohma estate for the rest of his life after high school. He copes with this situation by focusing all of his hurt and frustration on Yuki the rat, the most privileged of the zodiac that was said to have tricked the cat long ago, and keeping almost everyone is his life at a distance.
Kazuma confronts him about this one night.
Kazuma: Is this the way you intend to go on living for the rest of your days? Ears plugged, eyes closed, hiding behind your hatred for Yuki?
Kyo was beginning to work through his anger and pain with help from Tohru, but wanted to run and go live with Kazuma instead of delving deeper into his problems. He even told Kazuma that the very air was smothering him in his current situation. He was content to hold on to his anger, push away his friends and continue living essentially half a life. Kazuma, however, was not.
Kazuma: The air that you said was smothering you, you know that it can also heal you but you refuse to let it. You refuse to let anyone see you for your true self. You’re too afraid of what you might lose. You’re running away because your afraid to admit your feelings even to yourself.
Kyo: You’re wrong…
Kazuma: So I will grasp your hand as you turn to run and, though this path may lead to ruin, I will lead you to its end.
And then, he removed Kyo’s beads, his biggest means of protection, in front of Tohru.
This caused Kyo a great deal of pain. It even caused him to go into despair as he ran into the woods as a beast.
Kyo: She saw me. She saw me. She saw me! It’s over now. It’s all over. There’s no hope…
Kazuma made Kyo go through this pain because he wanted Kyo to have a full life and that couldn’t happen if Kyo continued to hide. Even though he knew how much it would hurt Kyo to go through this situation, he knew the life Kyo would have after revealing himself completely to Tohru and gaining her full acceptance was worth it. He loved Kyo too much to let him say in his rut.
As much as I want to avoid the things I don’t want to think about and as angry as I get with God when he continues to bring them up, I know he wants the best. I know that the growth and peace that will come after a trial will far outweigh any grief. I’ve found over the years that God is going to do what’s best for me, whether I like it or not.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.”