“What encouraging words do you want the people you care about to hear as they begin a new year?”
That was the prompt that Holley Gerth gave on January 1 to begin her new series: Coffee for Your Heart. (You can about it by clicking on the illustration at left, and read more entries, or link up yourself here.)
If there’s one thing I learned in the past year (and something I should’ve learned a long time ago, that’s for sure), it’s that life is full of hard things. It’s not easy. But that doesn’t mean give up.
I know, it’s very tempting.
We see videos on YouTube, we watch movies, we see television shows, maybe even a person demonstrating something at our local library. They all have one thing in common: they make it look easy. Effortless. Piece of cake.
But we all know it’s not really like that. So why do we give up? Because it’s haaaaard…
I know I got into this rut (and it was years in the making, believe you me) where I got to the point where if I couldn’t figure something out in about fifteen minutes of honest effort, I believed I wasn’t meant to do it. I mean, obviously, God didn’t give me a special talent for intuitively mastering Gimp, or learning HTML (let alone cascading style sheets), so, clearly, these things must not be something I need to master.
And it’s true, I don’t really need to master Gimp or cascading style sheets to make my life meaningful. But there were a lot of other things that this “it’s too hard” attitude trickled into. Learning how to budget my money. Returning to playing the piano. Understanding the design theory behind becoming a better photographer. Singing in a church choir. I was no longer learning almost anything, because…haaaaard. I wasn’t even participating in a great many things I already knew how to do (at least a little) because…hard.
My life got dull, tedious, and so very sad.
Don’t let that happen to you.
“I think sometimes when things get hard, too many of us assume we’re moving in the wrong direction. … Like if we’re doing life right, it’s supposed to be easy.”
When I read this book last summer, this hit me like a ton of bricks. I distinctly remember looking up from the page and staring for a long time out the window in stupefaction. When had I stopped understanding this? Me, a pianist? A person who had spent weeks learning a single piece of classical music. What was I thinking?
It might be hard. But it will be worth it.
Yes. Yes it will.
And, oh, let me tell you. You will feel the most sublime sense of satisfaction when you accomplish that hard thing.
Relish that. Dance around to that music. Roll around in that sensation. Feel that good feeling of accomplishment. Because that feeling of satisfaction will carry you through the next hard thing. And the next.
Oh, things will probably never get easy. Really worthwhile things are never easy.
But they are worth it.