A new dawn is stretching out in front of our mind’s cinema and most of us are “trying hard” and chasing something right now. It might be a long To-Do list. It might be success and material possessions. Or it might be God.
But trying hard, “no matter what,” can be a blind alley with no exists. It can put our personal balance, family, and even our health at risk. Even worse, it can compound the obstacles standing between us and finding God’s joy and balance.
AMERICA AND APPLE PIE
We learn early in life that trying hard is as American as apple pie. Our parents drummed into our minds that we should never give up. Their intentions were good, but they never dreamed that most of us would take it too far and become controlled automatons scurrying about the planet.
Of course we should work hard and chase the things that are worth doing and in alignment with God’s purpose for our life. We must do that. But the Try-Hard life must never keep us from connecting with God every day to make sure we’re chasing the right things.
“This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.” Ecclesiastes 7:29
Achieving a sense of balance is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe for God’s joy in life. Anything jeopardizing our life’s balance destabilizes our relationship with God, which then creates apprehension.
How can we be joyful if we are wracked with fear and anxiety? This notion of “never giving up” or “trying hard” is incompatible with finding God’s joy.
God wants us to try easy and live a peaceful and balanced life. Most of us view the concept of balance as soft and unproductive. We don’t need to counterbalance the activities and interests in our lives, we think.
We just need to push forward at whatever the cost to attain whatever we desire. But that is a terribly unbalanced perspective on how to live. Living a balanced life does not mean we should not have goals and be busy in a way that culminates in success.
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, nor does it come from having everything in perfect order.
Trying hard rarely works for anything. It is tantamount to clicking your computer’s mouse over and over while it is still processing the first click. But when we keep clicking, nothing can happen.
For me, I ask God to step in and redirect my path when I start trying hard and chasing the wrong things. To nudge me in the direction he would have me go so I don’t have to try so hard. To give me the gift of trying easy.