Wednesday, May 1, 2013
People complain that it is hard to make it in life. Christians complain that it is hard to live a good life. Students complain that it is hard to get good grades in school.
Guess what? If it was not hard to live a good life everyone would. If it was not hard to make it in life everyone would. If it was not hard to get good grades in school everyone would be an “A” student.
My grandmother often told me that nothing worthwhile comes easily.
But having said that, if we use the examples above I would have to say also that making it in life has not got to be as hard as we sometimes make it. Living the Christian life has not got to be as hard as we make it. Getting good grades in school has not got to be as hard as we often make it. And doing the right thing has not got to be the herculean task we often find it.
There are a number of factors that contribute to things being harder than they really should be for us. Let me give you two reasons why things are sometimes so much harder for us than they really should be.
The difficulty of a thing is greatly multiplied when our heart is not in it. Some circumstance or situation forces us to perform a certain task, behave in a certain way or do a particular thing.
Some people work but their heart is not in it. Students go to school but their heart is not in it. This makes that particular activity even harder.
But some of us are past liking or not liking things. We realize that if we are to get ahead, or be the person we are supposed to be, we have to focus on doing what we ought to do whether we like it or not, enjoy it or not, or feel like doing it or not.
And not just do it in a perfunctory way but do it well to the very best of our abilities. Mature people no longer think in terms of liking or not liking because emotions are fleeting and hardly the best judge of what to do or how to live. Some of the best things for us are things we don’t like doing or enjoy doing.
After we pass the like or don’t like phase we might still face difficulties because we allow ourselves to be distracted by other things that we like more or enjoy more.
It is a matter of making short-term sacrifices for long-term success; or as is so often said, short-term pain for long-term gain.
As one young man told me in one of my classes sometime ago, “Sir, I am doing what I don’t want to do now, so later I can do what I want to do.”
The bottom line is that there is no sense complaining because that won’t change anything; it is better to determine what is most important to you and discipline yourself to resolutely focus your behavior on those things so you can be the person you want to be and achieve the things you want to achieve.