Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Better Way To Struggle

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” 
- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


There have been a bunch of days lately that have felt like a struggle.

I’m not winning. I’m not losing. Just struggling. Like a seven-year-old kid hanging on for dear life as he rides ShieKra at Busch Gardens for the first time, screaming at a decibel level that would impress even the most distinguished of opera singers.

I’m struggling to get up when my alarm goes off. I’m struggling to get out of the house for work. I’m struggling to get my tasks done. I’m struggling to get into God’s word. I’m struggling to convince myself to go the gym after work instead of driving straight home.

You get the idea.

And the thing about struggling is that when you struggle long enough with your head down, you lose sight of where you are and where you’re going. Then one day you stop to look up, realizing you’ve drifted aimlessly off course, water as far as the eye can see on every side, wondering what in the world happened. It’s a scary place to be.

How did I get here?

The problem wasn’t that I was struggling. Struggles have a purpose and value. When we commit to something bigger than ourselves and fight to advance a dream that has been put in our hearts by the God who created us, a struggle is to be expected. A healthy struggle is good, because it pushes us forward and refines who we are.

The problem was this: I was struggling on my own. I decided to try and go through the struggle without help. Sure, it might work for a little while, but sooner or later your strength will falter. Your resolve will wither.

We were not made to be lone rangers, trekking into the wilderness of life with nothing but beef jerky, a six-pack of Red Bull and a flashlight. We were created to do life together; with God and with others.

Struggle with God. Struggle with family. Struggle with friends. Struggle with church leaders. Struggle with mentors. The key to struggling well is to struggle with great people next to you. 

It’s just better that way, because we will fall. And when we fall, it helps to have someone there to help you get back up and wipe the dirt and mud off your back.

When we lose sight of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it, they can remind us. They can join us in prayer in the midst of our struggle and join us in praise after our victories, both large and small.

If you're struggling, keep struggling. But this time, let's struggle together.

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