Our son read a book this summer called "Do Hard Things." I intended to read it as well, but admittedly, only got as far as the forward - but the forward was written by Chuck Norris so I get a few points, right? As a book written to rally the teenage consciousness to do more than simply get by, it was right up Liam's alley. Somehow, our oldest son got the picture in the last couple of years that life is what you make it - and it's not your own. God gives you a finite number of days to do His work and His work ain't easy.
The title of this book came to mind lately as I spoke with someone who has set some long-ish (a year to two) term goals to get out of a career that they would like to change and pay off debt. I thought of this phrase again when I had a panic attack going to the Freshman Football Jamboree on Saturday morning. Every cell in my body was screaming not to walk down those very steep bleachers at Seacrest Field. After I was seated I was glued and shaking. David asked me if I was okay and I just cried a little...took a sip of water a deep breath...asked the kids if they wanted to pick an activity out of the bag...re-focused on #61 in the Black & Red, and got through.
Many things that we have to do are those that we wish we could somehow make easier, but very few fall in to the category of "hard." Things that are truly hard to do will make an impression. They require sacrifice. And no matter how they look from the outside, they change us on the inside.
I have witnessed many life changing, hard things take place as of late.
I saw a man go out of his way to honor, in death, someone that was quite unkind to him in life. I watched a woman drag her pain laden, shoes made of lead to a place she had left 40 years behind. Sometimes, the hard thing is simply the right thing. You know what it is. It's that thing you could probably get out of. I mean, somebody that you know would surely justify it for you. But you would still know that you should have done it. You know who's voice that is when you hear it. Don't you.
But that's what we are here for, right? To do HARD THINGS!? I often wonder "WHY" in the last few miles of a really long run or bike ride. Crazy me even jokes around "Well I do it for the money! Oh, wait, there IS no money, ha, ha, ha!" Yes, I talk to myself. Hey - headphones and music are not the ultimate answer to several hours alone. Talking to myself at least gives me things to write about!
If all you do is sit by and wait for opportunity to knock, then you are wasting your time. Opportunity walked by your busted attitude and is currently bugging the crap out of your neighbor who has an aggressive plan to pay off her house in 5 years. Opportunity took a detour around your sad face and approached the guy who wants to forgive the person who lied to get the promotion he was due in his last job. Opportunity sailed on past you and the couch to hit up the chick who just decided that her first 5k race is SOON and that a Half Marathon isn't out of reach.
DO HARD THINGS. It will be worth it. You will be better. It will hurt. You might cry. You might scream. But you will get stronger.
It will be worth it.
You will be something better than you were before.