I’ve heard that many times and in many situations. My answer used to be, “Well, consider the alternative.” In short, saying, it could be worse, you know. You could be — not living at all. But that’s not an entirely accurate reflection of what would be “worse”.
I started thinking – life is hard. Death is easy. Because it’s done. See, living is a process and actually so is dying. Dying is hard. Death — the end of that process is actually quite simple. It’s that way with anything.
The process of dieting to reach a goal weight or to just simply get to a healthier state of being: HARD. Once you’re there at the goal – easy. BUT the PROCESS of keeping it: hard. Any process is hard. The easy is so short lived because there is always another process coming behind it.
I compete in figure competitions and usually take about 10-12 weeks of dedicated cutting and training to get to “show ready”. That process: SO VERY HARD. And it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it – it’s always still so hard. But the end: the stage: EASY.
Running: training for a half marathon or a full or even a 5k or 10k – the TRAINING is SO HARD. Crossing the finish line — or even the race itself many times if you’ve trained well, Easy.
I could give so many more examples, but they all prove the same point. Processes are hard because they are processes. Redundant? Not at all. It’s the striving, the growing, the getting better or trying to obtain that makes “life hard” as so many will complain of at some point. Life is quite easy for anyone who is not striving to become anything.
In life, we are given many opportunities for hard and rewarded with a few fleeting moments of easy. When you enter a process, or make a goal or decide to try something new: accept that it will be hard and focus on when the easy will arrive. I challenge you to wait for the easy as you endure the hard. Try not to rush it. There are prizes along the way in the hard and if you rush through it, you may miss them.
Mom is dying of cancer. This process is hard. Her easy is coming and thankfully this easy is not fleeting but will last for eternity. As I drove home tonight, these were my thoughts — thoughts of how long this is taking, how hard some days are, how i have so much less room to ever even consider that this might be hard when my dad is there 24/7. (and my mom would correct me for using numbers in a written post — I’m going to leave it though). I’m thankful for the prizes along the way and I’m thankful for God’s mercy in reminding me of them tonight.
Prizes along the way — the sparkle in her eye when she wakes up and realizes that I’m there. The love in her voice when she says, “It’s been a fun day today, I’m glad you were here.” The silent glances she gives me when Dad has left the room and is getting her medicine or her water or whatever else she asked for. No words are spoken but she speaks with her smile and her eyes. These are prizes meant only for me and I will keep them. And if the hard is needed for me to appreciate the prizes — then, Jesus, bring the hard and I’ll thank you for it.
Friends — life is not hard — LIVING is hard. It’s designed this way. Embrace the hard, be thankful for the hard and look for prizes.