I recently had the privilege of sharing this as a guest post on my Pastor's blog, and felt this was the perfect place to re-share.
A few years back, I had the privilege of coaching an amazing dance team. I devoted myself to the team for about 5 years. At times, the practices were grueling, long, and tiresome but winning the trophy made it all worth it. Winning didn’t come without sacrifice. There was no such thing as taking a "shortcut." My team hated when I would make them practice "full out," but they eventually began to understand that winning took dedication, passion, and perseverance. It wasn't until they won the trophy that they really understood why practicing hard beforehand prepared them for the win.
So much of our life is the same. If we want to win, it’s going to take HARD WORK & practice!
Hebrews 12:11 (NLT) says:
"No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
I recently heard a quote that said “Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” The word discipline send shivers right down my spine, simply because I know that along with discipline comes pain. It’s not going to be easy!
The truth is, the “Easy Road” never existed. I didn't want to be the one to tell you, but it had to be done ;). In reality, life's hard! No matter which road we choose in life, it’s going to be work. The results we'll get all come down to what we want most: we'll either live to satisfy the immediate, eventually adding more work, OR we'll add discipline to our lives and leave a trail we're proud of.
A silly little example of this is my kids. At ages 8 & 10, they (frustratingly) still have not mastered the whole concept of doing things “right” the first time. The other night, I asked them to clean up their room while I vacuumed. MUCH to my excitement, when I finished vacuuming, I went in their room and shockingly, it looked AMAZING! But after a closer look, I noticed something sticking out from underneath their beds… and wouldn’t you know, almost HALF of their room was amazingly stuffed underneath their beds! I wasn’t sure if I was more shocked that all those items fit under the bed, or that they thought it was ok to lie and take the easy road out of doing their chores.
Being the meanie mom I am, I made them do it all over again… the RIGHT way. I reminded them that if they had disciplined themselves in the first place, the hard work would have only had to be done ONCE, and they could already be enjoying themselves. Aren’t we the same way sometimes? In taking the easy road, we often end up finding out that the easy road was actually much harder than the disciplined road.
In my short existence I've learned that you'll never regret doing things better than what was required of you. But you WILL regret knowing you could've done more. Don't be afraid to do well and work hard. Seed planted in soil that has been worked will thrive, but seed halfheartedly thrown onto dry, hard ground will die.
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit."
So, whether your challenge is in school, work, the gym, your marriage, parenting, etc... whatever you're working through right now, I challenge you to ask yourself:
In light of what I want now, and what I want most, how will I live today?