The Hard Way Every Time

It would be nice to be expeditious in all our ways.  Truth be told, however, we often take the circuitous route.  Many things take longer, require more effort and cost more than thought.  Some of us make art forms of our projects as if we are being graded on degree of difficulty.  We are able to take the easy and make it excruciating being more satisfied when exhausted.  When we look back over our years, we may rue efforts which seem misspent, but we cannot always accomplish in an efficient manner.  None of us want to waste time or effort, but life don’t come easy.  You know it don’t come easy.

We can learn things the easy way or the hard way.  The easy way being by example and the hard way by experience.  Then again, it depends on the course offering.  Some things are not subject to book learning.  Old people know more than young people.  It’s not that they are smarter, but they know more.  Many things in life can only be learned as they are lived.  As Clint said to Chief Dan George, “Dyin’ ain’t hard for men like us.  It’s livin’ that’s hard.”  The burned hand teaches best, and experience should not be slighted though it unwanted.  Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues.

There are those who seek the hard task being convinced that some paths are too well-trodden.  They are averse to lives of routine and relative ease.  It may be going too far to say that they invite conflict, but they welcome risk.  This is as much a personality trait as anything else and can lead to great rewards or grievous results.  To some, only the high seas satisfy, and life is most fulfilling when lived on the edge.  While it is easy to dismiss such dreamers, it can be that God sets these desires as much as others.  We are not all fit for the same tasks, and many things seem foolish to onlookers.

God may guide us in lonely pursuits to develop our character and deepen our relationship with Him.  While it is true that God is everywhere, we all do not have the same eyes to see, and only those who have ears to hear can hear.  Each of us perceives a portion of God according to our measure.  While this does not excuse partial compliance, it does explain how our Father leads and lends to us.  As our own children must learn lessons through exercise, so must we extend ourselves to attain godliness and growth.  Teachers will adapt their methods to the learning styles of their students.

There are some tasks that are difficult and thankless by nature.  This does not mean that they are not worthwhile and do not need doing.  They may, in fact, be God’s will.  It can be that the returns of extreme measures are themselves extreme, but it may be that the fruit of frustration is sparse, indeed.  The central thing is that a person is sure of the direction of God’s leading.  Whether the way is rough or smooth, it is appropriate for the traveler with acquired navigational skills.  It is fortunate and true that in the dark night the stars of heaven shine to a degree not seen in popular and populous areas.

We should not despise the road that leads us home or the path of service that God has given us.  Let’s learn to fight after the fashion of our experiences because comparisons with others are not accurate or wise.  Our lives are in the hands of God and hidden with Christ in God.  It is His will that we are useful in life but, also, that we are molded in the pattern He has planned.  The world is not ours, and God’s will is not self-determined.  His plan for you is as individual as yourself, and you have unique abilities albeit accompanying weaknesses.  You are not a mistake, and your place of service was planned.

Sterl

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