Recently, I came across the title of a book written by twin 19 year olds entitled, Do Hard Things, and I was intrigued. As I skimmed the book I learned that they were young Christians writing about how to overcome complacency and actually do something meaningful with your life at a young age (hence the title). This on the heels of finishing the book, Move Toward the Mess, an admonishment for believers to follow the model of Jesus to complicate their lives and activate their faith, eliminating boredom. There seems to be a pattern here…
Meanwhile, sometimes I wonder, why would I want to further complicate my intricately planned, well curated life? Things are for the most part, the way I want them: manageable problems, predictable routines, nothing too big for me to handle. And there’s my answer. When life starts to become “easy” and it seems as if I can handle everything on my own then I have to start asking myself, am I doing it right? Where’s the challenge/opportunity so big that I am compelled to grow? I don’t know about you, but when I really ask that question of myself, I can easily find 2 or 3 answers starring me right in the face, almost as if they’ve been waiting on my move in the right direction.
Right now I’m studying about how the people of Israel returned to rebuild their temple during their captivity. What’s most fascinating about this story is that this was a hard thing to do. Many of the people had lived in captivity their whole lives. To return to their homeland and begin a new and dangerous work was daunting. So daunting in fact that only a small fraction of people dared make the journey. And yet, for those who did, they choose to do something that they knew would be hard, without exactly knowing the outcome. All they had was faith, will, and skill. Spoiler alert (you can read more in the old testament book of Ezra if you’re interested), they ended up completing their task along with initiating a period of spiritual restoration as well.
In the end, growth was the real outcome; they learned again the importance of believing in a God bigger than themselves. Imagine what their children learned as a result of seeing their parents grow by tackling a tall challenge.
That’s what I’m after at this stage of my life, growth. Everything I have, everything I’ve accomplished, is because of God’s expansion of my capacity to do bigger, and harder things. I guess it’s time for the next one, and look who has a front row seat.