Have you noticed that in spite of countless listicles and click bait slide shows that give you “Five Tips To The Perfect You” or “This One Thing Will Change Your Life Forever and Its Jaw Dropping,” we are more attracted to difficult achievements than cheap shortcuts that have no substance?
How else can you explain the rise in participation in marathons, Tough Mudders, and Spartan Races? Why are CrossFit and Fitness Bootcamps so popular and P90X before them?
Conventional wisdom would say that no 21st century person would be tough enough to commit to these things despite the positive results. Could it be that the we actually prefer a challenge over short cuts?
American churches have tried for the last 30 years or so to make the Christian life seem easy. Either by reduction of the message or making the hard parts seem unnessary, the idea was that if we portrayed the Christian life as difficult then no one would try it.
It was Chesterton who said, ““The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” But it is that difficulty that you really need. You want to feel as if you are really committing to something that is rich, deep, hard, life changing, and worth it.
A product that is given away or comes cheap seems disposable or lacking but something that you pay a large sum seems worth it because you worked hard to pay for it.
The Christian Life isn’t hard for hard sake but it is hard because nothing else in life is worth more than life transformation and growth. To discipline and die to self and see what Christ can do with our humble efforts has so many more benefits than taking the easier path.
Do the work and see what Christ does with it.
photo credit: DVIDSHUB