Many hold smooth sailing, or easy progress, as the goal in life. The Socialist ideal is caring for people from the cradle to the grave, minimizing the bumps along the way.
In business, in sports, in the arts, in research, in education, etc. smooth sailing is a recipe for failure - and it is an anathema to spiritual growth, to true Christian living. Why is this?
Smooth sailing indicates a state of denial rather than dominion. Human existence being mortal, there is an underlying fear built in, ready to burst out in one form or another. The one in denial will not be ready when adversity hits. It is interesting to note that in Revelation, when John writes to the seven churches, each of which was in a different state of good, bad, or indifferent, he urges each one to overcome with the promise of great reward.
"God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (II Tim) Embracing this alternative to plain old human existence requires effort to overcome the habits, false education, the tyranny of materialism, but, oh, it is worth it:
"The calm, strong currents of true spirituality, the manifestations of which are health, purity, and self-immolation, must deepen human experience, until the beliefs of material existence are seen to be a bald imposition, and sin, disease, and death give everlasting place to the scientific demonstration of divine Spirit and to God's spiritual, perfect man." (S&H)
Note: Self-immolation cannot be ignored - can't have health and purity without it - sorry, no smooth sailing here!