The Easy Way or the Hard Way

“We can do this the easy way or the hard way. It’s your choice.”

My daughter Rachel was describing her interaction with my grandson Isaiah as she was trying to get him dressed. Like a lot of two and a half year olds he can’t be bothered with things like pants or shoes especially if it means interrupting his play time. She had given him plenty of forewarning that they were going to leave the house and that he must stop playing to get dressed. Finally when time had run out she gave him the choice of doing things the easy way or the hard way. The easy way meant he would cooperatively participate in putting on his clothes. The hard way meant screaming and thrashing around as she navigated his body parts into the proper arm holes and pant legs. After a moment of thoughtful pause he simply said, “The hard way.”

That totally cracked me up! The fact that he would choose to exert that much effort to resist the inevitable showed such strong will. But then again, that attitude seemed strangely familiar. Wasn’t that what I had been doing for the past year?

About a year and a half ago God called me into new ministry. He asked me to venture into the unknown and frankly I was terrified. And yet, believing the call was authentic I knew I had to say yes. Still over the past few months my response has been measured, as if I had some control over the outcome. I kept trying to figure out the path in a way that suited me instead of giving control over to Him. And God had been very patient with me. It wasn’t until recently I have heard God say, “Anne, we can do this the easy way or the hard way, but ultimately, my will is going to be done.”

Reality stepped forward front and center. Week after week I had stood before the congregation leading worship singing that I would go where He led me and yet my spiritual heals were caked with dirt where I had dug in hard to keep from going forward. What a hypocrite you are!  I thought. You say one thing while you do another, choosing to stay safe and secure in a holding pattern. Suddenly I was the two-year old in this story choosing the hard way. I had been thrashing about with indecision and worry instead of acquiescing to the easy way where green pastures and still waters flowed.

And so I have made some hard decisions. Decisions that will lead me out of a wonderful ministry that I love into new areas of ministry opportunity. The funny thing is, I no longer feel angst about the future but am resting in peace. I still do not know exactly what the future holds, but I am O.K. with that. I know that God goes before me and will prepare the way. “The LORD is my shepherd. I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23: 1-3