The right choice is simple. I never said it was easy, but it is simple.
I just want to take the easy way out.
I remember snapshots of conversations that I had with my ex. I remember telling him that the right choice was obvious. Don’t betray and abandon your wife. Simple.
He wanted easy, though, not simple. So he decided to leave to be with his mistress instead. By easy, he clearly meant easy for himself, because nothing in this process has been easy for me. What he was really saying was that he wanted a short-cut past the hard work to regain what had been lost. And there wasn’t a short-cut. There was just a long, messy, hard road to work through the betrayal and build again. Not easy. So, he decided to leave.
Though we don’t face these types of decisions often, if we are really honest with ourselves (when I am really honest with myself), we often look for short-cuts past the hard work and straight to the reward.
- Weight loss pills – so we can lose weight without changing our poor choices.
- Get-rich-quick ‘opportunities’ – so we can bypass years of hard work and careful saving
- Cheatsheets – so we can ace the test without having to learn the material
- Sparknotes – so we can avoid engaging our minds by reading
The list could go on. We love getting straight to the part that is ‘fun’ and ‘easy,’ and many times, we will try ridiculous things to avoid a little sweat and work.
Here’s the kicker, though. There are no shortcuts when it comes to things that matter. Shortcuts give you an external appearance of success without an internal change. The result is that we revert back to our original state. Or sometimes get set back even further. They aren’t worth it.
When I think about my current goals – personal goals, fitness goals, professional goals, spiritual goals — I really want to jump to the end. Success seems so far away, and the path so difficult to travel. But then, when I think back over the past two years, I am thankful that I didn’t take any shortcuts. I am thankful for how God has systematically, meticulously, and sometimes painfully fostered healing and change in my heart. I am thankful for internal change that will produce external results – eventually.
If we would take the energy we put into shortcuts and redirect it to actions that produce true change and growth, we would see greater lasting results.