It was easier...

It used to be easier when it was just about me. Back in the days when I was younger and just had to take care of me, myself, and I…it was easier. It is not that way anymore. I have an amazing wife (Emily), a Pillsbury Doughboyesque 2 year old (Henry), and two ravenous animals that some would call dogs. With each new day there is something that comes up where I have to devote my attention away from myself. Emily might not be up to par because of a migraine or the exhaustion and sickness that comes with being pregnant. Henry, like any two-year-old, throws tantrums, fits, and food around the house and has diapers that need to be changed. Dogs need to be fed, clothes need to be cleaned, and work always needs to be done. In a house with a growing family, there is never a dull moment. I love my family (not sarcasm, I promise), but if I am being honest, things used to be easier when it was just about me.

I think most of the five people who read this could relate. At some point in our lives, we have a connection with someone else. This may be a spouse, a brother, a sister, a friend, or even a stranger. We all have a moment where we sense a connection with someone else and all of a sudden our world stops just being about us. Slowly, but surely, the thought of caring for this ‘other’ person creeps into our mind. Suddenly…our world is not just about us.

While life is easier when it is all about me, I do not think that is how the world should work. There was a blog I read this week which was titled, The ‘Other Gospel’ was Easier. The article spoke about the gospel of Jesus being much easier when it was just about us. It is much easier when the gospel is just about ourselves, our ticket to heaven, and our warm fuzzies that we feel on Sunday morning. In it, Brad Chilcott says the following:

It was easier when it was about me and my blessing, my healing, my salvation and inviting other people to enjoy my amazing new life. It was much easier when it was about going to church. About finding a Sunday service that made me feel good and affirmed what I already believed. It was easier when I could modify some moral behaviors and then live for myself, my ambition, my convenience and my comfort around that. It was easier when, because I knew my eternity was sorted, I could spend my days accumulating experiences, success, approval, dollars, possessions, relationships and the accolades that come from “ministry”

It was certainly easier when sharing the gospel meant telling people they could join me in all of the above because Jesus had died to make it possible. Much easier to get people on board with that agenda.

What’s hard is realizing that it’s never not going to be hard. All of us are hoping for, and trying to achieve, that day, when parenting isn’t so hard, work isn’t so hard, bills aren’t so hard to pay, our bodies aren’t so unruly and relationships aren’t so difficult. With all that hardness going on surely my faith can just be about me and what makes me feel good? Surely.

It was easier when it was. When I found what was right for me and could lie back and soak in it.

It was easier when the devastation of the earth, the exploitation of people, the racism, homophobia, sexism and hatred, the war, the poverty and other people’s problems weren’t my problem. It was much easier.

It was easier to avoid a hard day. Much easier to avoid hard work. Easier to feel indifferent about my low commitment to my fellow travellers – after all, we’re going to spend eternity together, do I really need to see them every week?

It was easier when being an individual was ok and “community” meant I go to church sometimes when something better isn’t on. It was easier.

It is easier when we do not have to worry about others.  It is easy when we only have to worry about our lives, our problems, and ourselves. Times get tough when we bring others into our care and into our lives. It is easier to not be a community of faith, but that is not what are called to be. We are called to love God and love neighbor. We are called to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. These callings are not just something that happens on Sunday morning, but daily. In our actions, decisions, and thoughts, we follow this call to self-sacrifice and to help others. We realize that the gospel calls us to not only think about ourselves, but the rest of creation that is around us as well.

I can try to make things easier. I can try to only be concerned about my self, my feelings, and my well-being, but that would not be the gospel that I am given. It would be easier, but it is not the gospel.

In Christ+, Trey

comments powered by Disqus