So I am reading this book for the fourth time. My friend Jaclyn and I are reading it together and talking about what we are learning. As we discussed the first two chapters yesterday, what I kept coming back to is the concept of easy vs. hard.

For example:

  • Do we teach our children (both at home and at church) to follow the rules and guidelines of what it means to lead a holy life (easy) or do we teach them how to have a relationship with God and listen for his leading about what it means to be holy (hard)?
  • Do we tell the truth even if it means exposing our weakness (hard) or dow we make excuses, rationalizations, or even lay blame somewhere other than ourselves (easy)?
  • Do we pray thinking that just maybe God will hear and give us what we want (easy) or do we really fall to our knees in authentic, heart wrenching prayer asking for HIS will to be done (hard)?
  • Do we give in to a sin nature (easy) or do we strive to live up to the nature of Christ in us (hard)?
  • Do we make choices based on what our family has always done (i.e. the party we vote for) (easy) or do we really take the time to make a decision that fits us and where we believe God would have us stand (hard)?
  • Do we let our marriage just go on as is (easy) or do we put in the hard work to help our relationship grow (hard)?
  • Do we expect someone else to make the changes necessary in the world (easy) or do we take responsibility for our own actions and make the necessary changes in us (hard)?

One of the most poignant questions in the book for me is, “Do I want social justice for the oppressed or do I just want to be known as a socially active person?” Once again the first half of this question is hard and the second half is easy. I wonder if each of us would really sit down with the question (or fill in the blanks with another issue – Do I really want to be known as someone who loves God and shares my faith, or just as someone who is religious and goes to church?) and consider the answer. Would we be willing to take the hard road instead of the easy one – even if no one else around us is on that road with us?

I find myself dreaming about what our world would be like if we all were taking the hard road. If, instead of always thinking about ourselves and what we need (easy), we would think about others and how we could meet their needs (hard). If instead of buying ourselves a new toy (easy) we were to use that money to make sure that someone who hadn’t eaten in a week or two had a meal (hard).

Think about it. Take a step out on the hard road. I’m going to.