We humans want the easy way. Water always flows in the path of least resistance. The river flows downstream. It’s easier to walk down a hill than up a hill. It’s easier to sit on the couch than it is to get up and exercise. This is life.
This past weekend our landscape company took three and a half days to set up a huge garden display at a garden show. It took hours and hours of preparation and many man hours to get it set up just right. Every plant was placed with care, every block laid carefully, and the covering of mulch was perfected. By Thursday afternoon we were all pleasantly exhausted, knowing that we had done our best and it looked great. It was very rewarding.
Of course, that feeling of reward lasted only a few brief days. Today–just three short days after we put it all up– we tore it all down in a few hours.
I just can’t help but think about the similarity of this to life. Almost everything worth having is going to cost us something — hard work, sacrifice, self-denial, etc. Healthy bodies, healthy marriages, healthy families, healthy budgets do not happen with an “easy” button.
And all of that hard work and sacrifice — for a healthy body, a healthy marriage, a healthy family, a healthy budget– can be utterly destroyed in a few brief moments.
Building something takes months, sometimes years. We have to carefully protect that for which we have worked so hard!
This is why it is so important that we be on guard at all times, keeping our feet firmly rooted in the soil of God’s Word, so that we can withstand temptation. It says in I Corinthians 10:13 that there will always be a way of escape for any temptation we face. But if we are not walking in the Spirit, learning God’s Word, then we have no right to expect that way of escape.
And so the concrete space that was a beautiful garden just a few short hours before today gives evidence to the fact that building up takes much more effort than tearing down. It’s a great reminder for all of life.