This afternoon, I pulled into my driveway after going through the cheap carwash down the street from my house. I got out of the car and took stock of what my car looked like. To my horror there were still spots of dirt and bird poop all over it. I spent the next 20 minutes trying to clean off the crap that was still on my car with rags and the left over water/soap that was on my car from the carwash. It was a failed attempt.
It might have been really convenient to use the carwash at the end of my street but by choosing the easy way I was left with a mess, granted a little less of a mess than before, but there was still a lot of dirt on my car.
There are a lot of times in my life where I choose the easier way. I like to think that if it’s quicker or takes less effort the results will really be better, but that’s rarely to never true. Good things in life, really good things take time and effort.
This stands true for our spiritual life as well. It might seem easier to click the next episode on netflix than to pray or to take a nap instead of seeing that friend you haven’t seen in awhile, but that satisfaction only lasts for a minute. Ultimately, you end up feeling dissatisfied and upset with yourself.
One of my friends and I took a trip down to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation tonight. The first place we went was to sit in front of a statue of Jesus in the tomb after His death. It looks like this:
My friend pointed out to me how there are marks where the crown of thorns went into Jesus’ head. I had never noticed it before. I sat there staring at those scars for a long time and I started reflecting on how much Jesus suffered during the crucifixion and the passion leading up to His death. He went through so much: being stripped and beaten, crowned with thorns, forced to carry heavy wood pieces, and nailed to a cross. Jesus didn’t get to take the easy way out.
God could have definitely just decided from up in Heaven to forgive us all our sins. He didn’t have to send Jesus down to Earth. Jesus didn’t have to suffer and die for our sins. But God chose for it to be that way. He didn’t take the easy way out because He knew that we would need to be reminded not to take the easy way out ourselves. We need an example of how to live and Jesus is that example.
Everything good in life takes effort and time. So use this as a kick in the butt, if you need one (and let’s be real, you probably do, because I know I do). Choose to take the path that you know is right not easier. It might be painful, it might mean you have to sacrifice, but in the end you will be more filled with joy, peace, and ultimately be fulfilled because you are allowing yourself to be conformed to Christ. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” Choose to be great!