In difficult times in particular, they yield returns that can be literally life-changing or life-saving! Digging deep into ourselves to cultivate our strengths, talents, and gifts, and bringing them out into the world can be a piece of work, but the payoffs for our efforts can exceed our wildest dreams!
As I continue my rocky spiritual journey through Lent, I notice that I am still, as always, seriously guilty of what the Buddhists call clinging. Westerners might call it greed, getting attached to the temporal and earthly at the expensive of things eternal and divine. Greedy clinging is not good for you, wise folks of every tradition will tell you. It'll make you suffer.