This may seem like a silly question and could be answered with ‘duh, because they are hard’ (visualize a smirk) but not all things that are hard for me are really ‘hard’. They could better be described as unpleasant or boring maybe even gross. (I’m thinking about parts of my house right now). I’m sure you could come up with a few yourself that are really not difficult just not high on your list of favored ways to spend time. Maybe it’s going to church when you’d rather watch a movie or sleep in, or maybe its weeding the garden when planting is much more fun. Perhaps it’s redecorating rather than just rearranging and cleaning; eating out rather than cooking a healthy meal. Why do we resist doing hard things particularly when we know they need to be done?
I have a couple of projects on my desk that are not hard or even unpleasant but they still remain incomplete. I often tell myself I work better with a deadline but reality is I might, but my family and other responsibilities suffer in the process.
Then there are hard things that I want to do like running a 10K, or saving to build a house or developing a healthy lifestyle surrounding food. Things for which I have sufficient information and know what to do I just don’t do them. Some of these choices threaten my life and health and yet . . . Inertia.
Three categories come to mind as I look back over this list:
- Narcissism (Pride)- Things I should do
- Fear – Things I would do
- Disbelief-Things I could do
They all have something in common, a held belief or opinion about myself for which scripture has something to say (we’ll explore that later). All could be interchangeable, but at the core of each one is a place of conflict and tension. My friend Jon Byron of Press Pause Ministries always tells me to pay attention to those places of tension, looking for God at work. The category that rises to the top because of this tension is fear. Jon would say, don’t run from that, explore what God might be teaching you. To that end . . . Fear of what? Failing again? Success? Letting go of an excuse that has worked well for so long? Who would I be without that excuse?
How would I define myself if I moved beyond my fears?
Yesterday, Pastor Matt Whiteford, CrossPoint Community Church , provided some clarity surrounding fear. Fear comes from concerns and anxiety, evidenced in the question above and they are ‘me’ focused. Convictions on the other hand come from a belief system, are less reactive, but respond to a calling that is greater than myself.
For now, as we begin this journey, I’d ask you this question . . .What is keeping you from Doing Hard Things? I hope you’ll come back journey with me. It may be ugly and raw. The path may jump and dart around corners but at the end of 2016, frankly at the end of today and every day, I want to be able to say, I did hard things to the glory of God.