Why Is This So Hard?
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
The enthusiasm waned and the desire to quit proved strong. Several weeks into my newest project, the hard work required to complete it dampened my initial eagerness. That dying enthusiasm was nothing new. It had been felt on many of my past endeavors.
How often have we asked ourselves if continuing was worth the effort and hard work? Why are projects so much easier to start than to complete? Based on the number of people I have talked with that don’t fulfill their New Year’s resolutions, I know I am not the only one to struggle with completing things I have started.
Recently I heard a pastor make a simple statement that has challenged me. He said, “You must choose your hard.” What he meant was the current effort is hard, but something else will be difficult if you don’t do the hard work now.
A great example of this is losing weight. Anyone who struggles to lose weight can tell you that it takes commitment and work to reach the goal. It is hard! Contrast that with giving up on weight loss now and later dealing with medical conditions and treatments that are difficult and painful. We choose our hard by either losing the weight now or dealing with the consequences of not doing so later.
There are many applications of this principle in life. It is important to do our work with excellence, regardless of how hard it is. “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.” (I Corinthians 9:24-27)
In this passage, Paul reminds us that anything worth doing is worth doing well. We must push to win the prize. Whether it is a job, a volunteer position, a small project, or something monumental, like parenting, we must put in the effort to finish well. Even if we fall in the pursuit, we must jump back up and finish the race we have started.
We must also fight complacency. It is often tempting to coast and do just enough to get by, instead of pushing for excellence. Yet we should push to win; to finish strong the race we are running. Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us to work with all diligence. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”
What hard thing are you facing? Do not grow weary in the middle of the race (Galatians 6:9) but continue steadfastly to finish what you have begun. Overcome the temptation to quit or to become complacent. If you finish, you will receive a good reward. Choose your hard and start running the race today.