If you had a choice of walking up ten flights of stairs or riding the elevator, what would you do?
Would you rather do a page of geometry problems or fill up the page with doodles instead?
Given the option of reading War and Peace or scanning a Gizmodo article online, which would you pick?
For most of us, we would choose the easy way out. Few people desire to do the hard thing. Oh, we imagine ourselves doing the hard thing…we set lofty goals (a/k/a “New Year’s Resolutions”), but we see those goals drop like flies as reality sets in and we realize how difficult they are to enact. We want to get fit and healthy, but we don’t want to put in the time at the gym. We want to know the Bible and stop our perpetual sinning, but we don’t want to wake up early or tame our wild flesh.
Henry David Thoreau is credited with writing:
The path of least resistance leads to crooked rivers and crooked men.
So, what is a weak woman like me to do?
- Keep pressing on. Step by step. Just do the next thing. When I consider the options of continuing in faith…or not, pursuing holiness…or disobedience, maturing spiritually…or backsliding, it becomes vivid to me that there is no middle ground and my other options are horrific. To give up fighting my sin, to turn away from the God I love, to go back to milk after chewing on the meat of the Word, this is all death. There is no blessing in that so I must move forward even though the hill may be steep and the choice may be very difficult.
- Gather up friends. Some of us are naturally stronger than others and can endure longer in trials. But, whether you are prone to strength or weakness, none of us can walk this Christian journey alone. Ultimately, we must depend first upon Jesus who is our strength. Then we must also humble our pride and reach out to friends who can pick us up when we are weak, when we are tempted to quit or to take the easy way out.
- Remember the point of this whole thing; remember the prize. The apostle Paul gives us vivid illustrations regarding this.
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3: 12-14
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 1 Corinthians 9: 24
So that we may not become crooked, as those who are prone to take the path of least resistance, let’s run this race in such a way as one who is trying to get there first. Jesus is the prize and my prayer is that my eyes would desire no one or nothing besides Him.