I had three of my grandchildren with me, so decided to take the “easy way” up the hill. It is longer but the slope is less steep. Since I didn’t have any other adults with me, I thought it would be a better way to go, as it is still a struggle for me to make it to the top.
They were excited and full of energy, my grandson pretty much ran the entire time. Me, I struggled with most every step. Breathing is still hard in higher elevations. The kids enjoyed the hike, getting out in the fresh air after a long day of travel and colder temperatures the days before. It was a beautiful day to spend with the kids. We came back down the same way we went up. I am used to the trek down. I am slow but it is easier for me than going up.
After we got home, my body ached, more than normal. Almost immediately, it was painful to walk across the room. I knew something else was going on. I soon realized plantar fasciitis in my left foot was going to take me out of commission. I was over compensating and got myself all out of alignment. It has been a week, and despite a compression brace, soaking, stretches and a shot, it is still causing me pain.
I thought about how I changed the way I normally did things trying to make it easier for others. It was my plan. I had never gone that way up before, only taking it down. I thought about how what I thought was going to help only made things worse for me. The kids would have been just fine, they are young and active, not to mention all the pent up energy they were storing.
I have seen it echo in my spiritual life as well. Too often, I know the path I should take. Yet, I pause and decide that I should go an easier route. Do things my own way. Kinda like Jonah deciding that he didn’t want to go to Nineveh, so he went the other way.
“Now Yahweh’s word came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid its fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh.” Jonah 1:1-3
I act like I know better than God about what I should do. I think I know better how I should do things and where I should go. I am looking for the easy way and instead I find myself like the Israelites wasting time walking around the same mountain over and over again. I make it tougher than it needs to be. My short cut ends up being the long way. My scenic route takes me on a path God never intended me to see.
Or I allow others to influence my plans and end up doing something God never called me to do. Or worse, doing something He specifically told me not to do, like Balaam in Numbers 22. God was specific in His instructions, but Balaam gave in. Only because of his donkey was Balaam saved.
We have to realize that regardless of what we think, the easy way, will be God’s way. It may look like it will cost us more, take more time, or be harder. In the long run, doing things in our own strength will cost us more, waste our time and create more burden on us. When we gain in the flesh, we can only keep through the flesh. We can not get God’s will doing it our own way.
““Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”” Matthew 11:28-30
When we yoke ourself with the Lord, our burden will be light. His yoke is easy. We don’t have to complicate things doing it our own way. We need to let Him direct our steps and we will save ourself a lot of time and pain. Yes, we will still face difficulties, but when we share it with God, it is the easy way.