Sometimes It Takes a Struggle

Living in 2020, we want everything to come easy. We believe that our desires should be achieved at the touch of a button, downloading an app, or watching a video. If it doesn’t come easy, then we don’t do it.

We have our list of reasons from, “I can’t do it” to “I’m not smart enough” to “I am too old.” The excuses for why certain things do not come easy to us is long, and I have heard them all as a church leader and parent of four.

The biggest issue for most of us is two-fold. First, we really don’t want it. Second, we are not willing to pay the price, even when we say we want it. Everything comes with a price tag. It might be money, but it can also be time, security, embarrassment, or just plain sweat.

Usually, the only way to achieve anything is to work hard and put in the hours until we accomplish our goals. We do this to achieve the things we truly want.

For example, our Church is doing a program called Core 52. On Tuesdays (today), we are supposed to memorize scripture. Over the last five weeks, I have heard every excuse in the book as to why people cannot do it. They are too old, too young, too dumb, too busy, or too hardheaded to do it.

The honest response is that none of those excuses are valid. The author explains that it will take three things to memorize scripture. The first thing is to repeat, repeat, repeat. Say it till you can’t say it anymore. Second is hands and feet. The more you move and add motion to your words, the easier it will be to remember. Finally, he gives the rule of three, three, and three. Three minutes to remember it, three days before you can say it without looking at it, and three weeks before it is permanently in your memory.

When someone tells me that they cannot do the memory work, my reaction is to change their “cannot” to a “will not.” I ask them if they have used the methods he described. Have they repeated it? Did they try the motions he suggests? Have they done that for three weeks?

Most people admit that they have not done all the steps. They said it a couple of times out loud, and it was not immediately in their brain, so they quit. They did not “try and fail.” They gave minimal effort, and when it was not easy, they made up an excuse.

Sometimes, maybe all the time, anything worth achieving takes a struggle. It takes doing the same thing over and over again. It takes making mistakes and frequently embarrassing yourself. Achievement on any level comes with fighting against settling for easy excuses and working hard for outcomes. If you are not willing to do that, then let’s be honest, the problem is that you don’t really want it.

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