By Julia Amting
Pick that hard thing.
The dream that intimidates you, the thesis, the person you are trying to reach, the diploma, the skill, the job, the commitment you are struggling to fulfill, the fitness program or diet you’re implementing to live better and healthier.
Pick that hard thing that is stretching you right now and keep it in mind as you read this.
So I’m going to give you all a metaphor. Why? Because I love metaphors.
Those hard things are like boulders that you have to push uphill.
So we push them with all our might, contributing time and effort and sacrifice. It feels like a worthwhile labor at the beginning, with bountiful energy. Good paragraphs were written, good conversations were had. We can see the edge of the hill coming and maybe this all wasn’t as hard as we thought it was.
They say that life is good when it’s going in forward motion. When there’s direction and drive and purpose, and there’s a momentum that turns dreams into realities and goals into plans.
Sometimes the boulders move, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes life feels like it’s going in backwards motion. Sometimes we can push them with all our might, contributing time and effort and sacrifice but nothing seems to happen. The gravitational potential energy increases as the boulder is pushed farther up the hill, making the burden seem heavier and heavier. Physics.
Eventually, we’re burnt out. We sit on the problem or the task for a while, and become stressed out and intimidated as we watch others push their boulders and burdens up the hill with apparent ease.
Little did you know, each time you were pushing your boulder, you were getting closer and closer to the edge of the hill. Without you realizing it, the boulder rolls over the peak of the hill and is suddenly moving on its own. Now we have direction, gravity, motivation, excitement.
In our challenges and aspirations it is easy to feel like we’re pushing and straining, stopping and starting. That we’re inadequate and that everyone has it a little more together.
I’m learning that hard work is never wasted. That even if the task itself wasn’t as meaningful as you thought, the capability to persevere is priceless. Doing some hard things leads to being able to do more hard things. Worthwhile things. Beautiful things.
Sometimes the challenge lies in deciding if the boulder is worthwhile, if it is God’s will. I know it can feel purposeless.
A wise friend once told me that God can’t drive a car in park. That you have to move. You have to choose something and go and trust that Jesus will give you guidance on the way. (You could even say that Jesus will take the wheel)
Today I’m challenging you to keep pushing that boulder in your life. To be brave and keep your car in drive. To stop being afraid, give it to God, and go. To remember to rest sometimes but always come back.
Just keep swimming fam, because you never know how close to the edge you are.