The simplicity of some truth is staggering. A friend gave me these words, which are both comforting and uncomfortable, "It is never easy, but it is always important." There is solace in their honesty, but they also alert us to the challenge of each day.
Responding to the inertia of expectations around us makes upholding a high level of integrity a struggle. W cannot let go of anger that will not let go of us after the trust of a friend is broken. We gaze out our windows, escaping the commotion in the family room, because the stress of work is difficult to ignore. We settle for impatience because the phone rings or the oven timer dings, while we are tending to the basic tasks of each day.
"It is never easy, but it is always important." When those words challenge us, we can be thankful that the opposite is not true, "It is always easy, but it is never important." How empty each day would become if everything were unimportant? We must search for what is important in all that we do; otherwise, we underestimate the impact of our words and actions.
"It is never easy, but it is always important." At times, we might wish that it was rather, "It is always easy, and it is always important," but this circumvents the truth. When we are mindful of the importance of each day, we are confronted with a challenge. In realizing that each ordinary day is the sacred ground of our lives, we discover the discipline of grace. Working to cherish our families, serve the stranger, maintain humility, or cultivate generosity is not always easy, but it is always important. In struggling with what is not easy, though, we discover the grace that leads us along the way.
"It is never easy, but it is always important." Thankfully it is not, "It is never easy, and it is never important." Without the challenge of what is important in the gift of life, we would wither away, finding no light amidst the darkness. We would only have struggle without any shared joy with others.
Faith is a way of life, as in the book of Acts, Christians are called people of "the Way." We are invited to a way of life that is never easy, but always important. Forgiveness is never easy, but always important. Generosity is never easy, but always important. Humility is never easy, but always important. Compassion is never easy, but always important.
There are times when we might look over somebody else's shoulder and think, "It is always easy, and it is always important." We perceive that others journey through life without obstacle and never struggle with what is important. Nevertheless, everything that is important is not going to be easy, and everything that is easy is not going to be important.
In the face of tragedy, we might cry out in utter discouragement, "It is never easy, and it is never important." Seeing children go without food, natural disasters claim people's lives, people suffer after loosing a job, or curable diseases go untreated, we shutter at the pain and wonder if our efforts to help are futile. We must reach out knowing that we are simply participating in the work that God is already doing, which is not easy, but always important.
We cannot make it easy or unimportant. We can only live into the simple truth, "It is never easy, but it is always important." It is a truth that garners conviction and hope for each day. We continue to follow the way of Christ, for each day is the sacred ground of our lives.