Saturday, August 10, 2013

Stop Avoiding Hard Things.

We all have a tendency to avoid "hard" things, and those things can be hard for any number of reasons: because they're boring, because they're physically challenging, because they're intellectually challenging, because we don't really know how to do them, because they are uncomfortable, because they scare us, and the list goes on. Exercising is hard, resolving conflict is hard, telling people "no" is hard, finishing papers and projects is hard, developing a regular discipline of prayer is hard.

But isn't it true that everything we do day to day was, at one point in our lives, "hard"? When you were first learning to walk, that was hard. When you first began to read and write, that was hard. If you've ever played a sport, the first time you tried it was probably very hard. And as we grow older, the hard things never really stop coming our way--moving by yourself to a college 250 miles from home where you don't know a soul is hard. Starting a new job and learning what's expected of you there is hard. Living in a new city and establishing a new circle of friends is hard. Determining to keep living the way you know God wants you to live in a culture where that lifestyle goes against the grain is very hard.

But if virtually everything we now do every day was once hard, how and when did it become easy? Driving used to be very hard for me, and it's not anymore. Reading case law used to be very hard, and I could now pretty much do it in my sleep. When did the shift happen? Hard things only become easy when we do them, over and over and over, when we push through the discomfort and fear and challenge and do it anyway, and build up our physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual muscle in the process. If we never do hard things, those hard things will never become easy. If we want our lives to eventually become easier, we have to do the hard things first, over and over again, until eventually, they aren't so hard anymore. Of course, some things will always be hard to a point--but the more we do even those things, the easier they become over time.

We live in a culture saturated by ease and instant gratification, and maybe our relentless pursuit of ease is exactly, paradoxically, why our lives can seem so hard. If we never do anything hard, we never develop any strength against adversity. Push through it anyway. Do it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Lady,
    You have a beautiful mind.
    Which I already knew.
    But also a great eye for pictures.
    - Something new. Blessings, child.
    - CD at AMC.


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