I’m convinced that our craving for convenience will play a key role in some great, dystopian kind of future. We’ve lost sight that the struggle is the point. (I’ll explain the meaning in this post.)
In high school, I delivered pizzas for the locally owned pizza place. (Just to prove that I’ve been a ‘buy local’ guy all my life.) The worst time of the month to deliver pizzas was the first weekend after government assistance checks were distributed. For the most part, it was the busiest time of month in the pizza biz. On top of that, there were some clients who would order several pizzas along with several 12 packs of pop. Mind you, the pop is marked up by about 300%. I asked the owner about the pricing of the pop and his answer was simple, “I don’t want to sell pop but people ask for it so much that I don’t really have a choice.” I don’t think he was evil for selling the pop at that price. In fact, that’s not the problem I see in this story.
Related Post: The Church Just Wants My Money
With all the “advances” that have come with technology and especially with smartphones, one that has emerged in the past couple of years is food delivery. Now, you can get McDonalds, Wendy’s and Taco Bell delivered to your door through any number of services. And, it seems, some people don’t mind paying great prices for the convenience. (I’m not saying you should never use these services. We just happen to live far enough outside of town that we can’t. Which makes it easier for me to sound self-righteous about them.)
This is really indicative of the true human problem of our day.
We don’t really want to work for anything. I’m not talking about any specific generation, so don’t automatically go there. What I’m talking about is people. I’m talking about me. I don’t want to have to work for anything. I just want it to be hand delivered to me by a ‘Mr. Belvedere’ type figure wearing white gloves.
We want the rewards without the process that brings the reward. We want transformation without going through the process of being transfored. When it comes to our walk with God, we basically ask God to show up on our doorstop with our newly transformed selves waiting to be opened like it’s our birthday. We want rebirth without the 9 months of work needing to be done for us to be ready for birth.
Maybe I’m just talking about myself and you’re not really that way. But, as a pastor, one thing I observe time and again is people wanting change without going through the struggle of changing.
The problem is the struggle is the point. The struggle IS HOW we change. (The struggle is the point!)
It is very rare that we become different people because life is easy. When life is easy, we don’t typically look for ways to do things differently. We settle into routines. We go through the motions. Our brain finds rhythms and routines to repeat that are safe and easy.
Struggle is a key component to change. Also a requirement of Jesus.
“In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” – Hebrews 2:10
Did you read that? Who is the pioneer of our salvation? Jesus. How is it that Jesus is perfect? Suffering.
That term, pioneer, is also “trail blazer.” Jesus was the trail-blazer of our salvation. He cut the path for us to follow. What was the trail that Jesus blazed? Suffering.
Do you really want to become like Christ? Do you really want to grow up and become mature in your faith? Mature enough to not toss back and forth by everything that comes along? It will require suffering. It will require struggle.
The struggle is not God judging us. In fact, later in Hebrews we learn that the struggle is a sign that God loves us, a sign that we are in fact God’s true and legitimate children.
Are you walking through something difficult right now? Can you see this as something God wants to use to grow you up in Him? Can you see the struggle as a good thing, something that will produce in you a righteousness that couldn’t have existed before?
The struggle isn’t something we have to get through. The struggle is the point.