Have you ever noticed that the things that are good for us are hard? They take work. Take school, for example, you can slide through school by just doing the bare minimum. You can get passing grades and graduate without really mastering any material. However, if you really want to learn the material it is going to take more work. You need to read the books, complete the exercises, and do the projects. When you finish this you have to do it all over again. Repetition and experience leads to learning.
How about relationships? In order for a relationship to be successful, two people must work hard. There must be a willingness to compromise during conflicts, to apologize when a mistake has been made, to forgive when you’ve been wronged, and to love not only in the good times but also in the bad times. Relationships are easy when life is good and things are going smoothly. When money is readily available, physical appearances are attractive, jobs are fulfilling, and times are fun, it is easy to love each other. But, when money is tight, bodies are worn out, jobs become frustrating, and there hasn’t been a laugh in days, that’s where you must really work to love each other.
Another activity that falls into the category of “good for you but hard to do” is exercise. Obesity is on the rise in America. We are faced with a buffet of unhealthy food choices and more and more things to distract us and keep us sedentary. Staying healthy takes hard work. You have to choose the right foods to eat while avoiding the unhealthy ones. You have to dedicate the time to exercising. This means getting rid of excuses about time, ability, or pain.
What does any of this have to do with anything and why write about such obvious things? Well today at church we’re beginning our “40 Days in God’s Word” challenge. Using a CD from Faith Comes By Hearing we are going to be able to listen to the entire New Testament in 40 days simply by listening for 28 minutes per day. Have you ever read the whole Bible? This is another thing that takes hard work. There are parts that are exciting and easy to read and there are other parts that don’t make much sense or are tedious to read. It takes hard work to focus and make it through these parts. Sometimes we don’t do it because it takes time and we’re busier doing other things. Other times we start out strong, but lose momentum along the way. My hope is that we will each challenge ourselves to work hard over the next 40 days to commit 28 minutes each day to listening to the assigned readings for the day.
God’s word tells us about his work and about his promises. It tells us about how he’s fulfilled all of his promises. We hear that he sent his Son into the world to die on the cross and rise from the dead to rescue us from sin, death, and the power of the Devil. The Holy Spirit uses this word to create and strengthen our faith. I think that at the end of 40 days we’ll find that working hard to carve out the time listen each day will be just as worthwhile as working hard to learn new things in school, to maintain and strengthen our relationships and to keep out bodies in shape. We’ll find that this “workout” for our faith will strengthen it and give us an even greater understanding of God our Father. May God bless us all as we dive further into his Word.
My name is Tom. I'm fascinated by the ways that people, ideas, current events and theology interact with each other.