Well, its not ruining my life, its just ruining my ability to contribute to my own blog. Because ever time I get some thought, I dart in one direction rather than mulling it over in my head. It just comes out. And that might make for some great one liners, but it can be shallow. 140 characters does NOT make a deep and insightful discussion on healthcare. But its so much easier to just spout off some pithy quote (or steal it from someone else) and be done with the whole thing. Its like a shortcut to happiness.
You know, there are no shortcuts. Especially with God.
What I'm getting at is that true success, happiness, love, faith, yaddayadda - all these things get better the longer you work at them. The notion that the words "instant" and "free" are affixed to the best choices is simply a product of marketing. Time doesn't always equal better. Some things will not get better if you just wait long enough. When I'm talking about time, I'm talking about concerted effort on your part (and God's) to improve things.
The best choices for your life are always difficult. Its the difficulty that makes these things beautiful and complex! Its a tough call, really. Do you take the short and easy path or the long and difficult one?
The shorter and easier path is undoubtedly taken more. You will have good company on this one because we all trust in promises that this path is really worth missing out on everything else. People easily take this path because you need less, and from what I hear, even though everyone is doing it, they are only doing it because they were told they wouldn't need anyone else for this path. I hear it can be lonely, even with all those people.
The long and difficult one...the one less traveled, as I've heard, makes all the difference. You can find friends on this path, but they are not like other friends. They give as God gives, not as the world gives. When you start down this path and someone says, "I've been there" you know they feel ya.
As a pastor, I struggle with this sometimes. Its my job as a minister to be there for people who need comfort and to nudge people who need to be challenged (the severity varies per person per situation). The fact that difficult times, tough choices, and all the garbage that comes with life inevitably makes better Christians almost makes me want to pray for difficulties. I say inevitably because if hard times hit and your faith does not increase, doesn't that faith deserve to die anyway? Believe me...I'd much rather faith die to be resurrected to something greater. But there are things (not people) that should be killed because the world is better off without it than with the sorry excuse of a idol it portrays.
I should pray for difficulties to come. But I can't bring my self to it. Which would I rather have? Milk-toast pansy Christians by the droves? Or wise, seasoned, and smart Christians in 1 part per millions?
I know which God would rather have. There are no shortcuts. But I also know God does not bring bad things into our lives. When we are tempted, when we are persecuted, when guns are stuck in our faces, God is still good. He'd rather go to a cross and face death head-on than to lose even a single little one.
We want a microwave, God gives us a crock-pot.
We want a sports car, God gives us a minivan (better gas mileage, more friends, AND its safer!).
We want sex, God gives us a life-partner.
We want entertainment, God gives us a church. ha!
Need I say more? Don't settle. Bring some serious love. And love almost always involves time.