Mark Affleck


August 19, 2016
Spiritual Growth

We all try SO HARD in life when God says TRY EASY and trust him.
Many of us occasionally view the notion of keeping our life in balance as a low priority. I know I am susceptible to that wayward thinking when things get busy and I shift into the “try harder” gear.
We’re playing with fire when we convince ourselves to just try harder when times are tough, no matter the cost. God tells us that if we try hard to be joyful and balanced, we never will.
In Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are warned, “do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
Balance is not a linear game we win by managing activities and making sure we take time off occasionally to decompress. Balance does not come from relaxation tapes or an annual vacation.
Trying hard rarely works for anything. It is tantamount to clicking your computer’s mouse over and over while watching the processing icon spin like a free-wheeling top. I am an expert at this because I tried trying hard for everything a couple of decades when I was a succeed-at-all-costs corporate CEO. Surprise! It did not work.
I witnessed a silly but powerful example of trying easy on a driving trip in Northern California. It was a simmering hot summer season, so I left the windows down at night to keep the car cool for my departure the next morning. As I pulled out of the driveway, the car was cool and pleasant. All good, right? Hardly. Dozens of flies had entered the car during the night.
It took nearly an hour, but I finally got rid of the swarming pests by opening and closing the windows to chase out the interlopers one by one. By patiently trying easy, I was able to get rid of those pesky flies. Well, almost all of them. There was one persistent malingerer who had no intention of leaving the car. That fly stayed with me for the three-hour drive to my next destination, waited for me in the car for six hours while I was stopped, and then accompanied me home on the trip’s final three-hour leg.
Sometimes life is like that. Even when we are patient and try easy, there is always one fly reminding us that perfection does not exist. Life’s equivalent of that one fly becomes a threat to finding balance in Christ and trying easy. We desperately try to swat every single one of the “flies of life” the minute they appear. But now here comes another one, and then another, and there is always one that never goes away no matter how hard we try shooing it.
Spending our lives trying hard to get all of the flies leaves us in a constant state of imbalance, always on edge.
Why don’t you try trying easy?

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