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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What it Takes

We all want the perfect love story, the dean’s list-worthy GPA, the epic shot, the best selling book, the big raise, the victorious snapshot at the finish line. We want the breathtaking moments, the bikini body, the winning entry; and if not these exact achievements, other, equivalent touchstones.

But what all of these great moments have in common is not as popular: actually kind of gritty, sweaty, and tedious. Really. Hard. Work. Mind numbing tedium, muscle fatiguing exertion, all out shows of sheer will power. 

All it takes is a virtual trip to Sochi to see examples of sometimes decades of work resulting in a one minute pay off—maybe.  Or, even more likely, not.

A few weeks ago, we had a guest speaker at our church’s 10 year anniversary service.  He challenged us to view the concept of “blessings” this way: a blessing is something you become.  Not something we should beg for, and certainly not something we deserve, but something we become.  For others, through the hard work of loving each other.  And, I would add, honoring our dreams by not just thinking their fulfillment is something we’re entitled to. 

A perfect love story, then, becomes a challenge to become a blessing to our partner.  A stellar GPA….again, a challenge.  Honor the process, do the work—and who knows, maybe you will bless someone, someday with the skills you’ve earned.  Being in shape?  Ridiculous effort.  Mostly for ourselves, maybe—but then again, who could we bless by being fully alive, longer?

I honestly don’t know where this line of thinking will lead me, personally, but I suspect it’s out of my comfort zone.  I want a WHOLE LOT of things—and my effort does not match the results I’m after.  Then again, I am evidently plagued with totally incoherent aspirations so maybe there’s the problem. What is the one thing you are most willing to work for?

1 comment:

Joanne Tanner said...

Well, the thing I am consistently most willing to work for is my intimate relationships. I do expend a great deal of effort on my grades, too, as you know. (It's not just for the GPA and accolades though. My favorite parts are what I am learning and how the processes can help/touch others.) I work pretty hard at keeping the house clean, albeit sometimes just the parts company sees. I work hard at being there for people who are in difficult situations like hospitalization or in the process of grieving. I work very hard at being thrifty and finding a way to make delicious food for people.

Some things I wish I had the wherewithal to work harder on are my walk with God, my bikini body and making money to alleviate some of the financial struggle. I am afraid if I worked hard at everything I wanted to, though, I would get burned out. I am sometimes dangerously close to it already. But, come Spring, thankfully my natural desire to be outside will help with the bikini body and it will seem less work and more fun. The rest, I must still strive for. Great post, lovely.

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