Things I try to avoid — public speaking, mingling at a work-related social gathering, introducing people to each another (when the name of your best friend of 30 years inexplicably flees from your brain). Team building, role-playing, and of course, karaoke.
I admit it. I want an Easy Life. A fulfilling job with moderate stress. Lovely family and friends. A little yoga here; a game of tennis there; throw in some shopping, a few riveting Netflix shows, dogs (of course). And voila.
But maybe God wants me to step out of my comfort zone on a more regular basis.
Pastors say we should be the “hands and feet of Jesus”. Jesus who went the extra mile with the “least of these” — lepers, sinners, the poor. Jesus who washed dirty feet. Who told the story of a surprising Good Samaritan and a father running with wild abandon to embrace his prodigal son.
Then there’s this conundrum thing that Jesus said, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
Ironically (and annoyingly, I might add) — embracing stressful challenges grants us the most happiness.
According to a recent Guidepost article,
” A new study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who pursue goals that are tough to achieve feel more stress in the moment, but greater happiness in the aftermath—particularly if they feel connected to others along the way.
Happiness increases when people develop greater competency at something—and greater competency only comes when people persevere through the stress-inducing phase of trying, wrestling with, and trying again to learn and grow.”
But let’s not forget that Jesus also turned water into top-notch wine. He grants moments of unspeakable joy — when you exchange a knowing look with the man you love, when your grown daughter says she wants to have a girls getaway with none other than YOU, her mom; when you drive past a lacy bridal shop and you are reminded that God sees you as just that. A beautiful bride. All lace.
And then it occurs to you.
The Easy Life is not what it’s cracked up to be.
Just please, don’t make me do karaoke!