It was the NBA finals. The Spurs were in a battle destined to be a classic. It was nearing the end of a crucial game and the opponents had the momentum. Greg Popivich, the Spurs head coach called a time-out and then, with an impassioned plea, gave his team the truth they needed to hear:
“This is the finals. It isn’t supposed to be easy.”
The great hymn writer Isaac Newton wrote:
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
CH Macintosh, a classic Plymouth Brethren writer was writing about Abram when he penned:
Abram may, it is true, afterwards discover that obedience to this command will involve his abiding in a land where nothing but starvation, apparently, awaits him. But, even though it should be so, God had not, in any way, qualified the command.
The truth is, our lives aren’t supposed to be easy. Don’t complain when they aren’t. Embrace the battle.
- Our kids may be misbehaving and recalcitrant, but don’t get angry – it isn’t supposed to be easy. They weren’t supposed to come out of the womb as perfect kids. They are supposed to need your guidance and instruction.
- Your spouse may battle your spiritual journey. It isn’t suppose to be easy. You are to cherish your wife because doing so makes you holy, not because she has been so nice as to deserve it.
- Our work may be difficult, perhaps we aren’t even succeeding. But you serve at the pleasure of the King of Heaven, wherever he places you, for reasons you do not know. You serve a role in a cosmic battle. Be courageous, be steadfast.
- Our culture may increasingly fight against all our values and principles. But this isn’t heaven. It’s not supposed to be heaven. We are supposed to see ourselves as strangers, ambassadors for a different kingdom in hostile territory. This was never supposed to be an easy assignment.
So follow the Christian way of life. A life with a regular schedule (you should be able to name the time and place set aside) of prayer, worship, Bible reading, eucharistic celebration, fasting, daily examens, alms-giving, silence, spiritual advisor.
It’s not supposed to be easy. Prepare yourself diligently for the struggle. Prepare for the battle.