We really believe that we would like the easy way out, but we don’t. Most of us have ourselves convinced that if we could only get past “x” in our lives, then everything would be fine. If that one thing were resolved, the rest of life would be easy and we want easy. Or at least we think we do.
I actually believe that life used to be easier. When I was single and infinitely more selfish, the stress and pressure that I battle now was largely avoided then. The truth is that I avoided it almost entirely then, through selfish retreat and alcohol. The result was what seemed like fewer problems at the cost of depth. The shallowness of avoidance has a shelf life and I was reaching mine just when He rescued me from myself.
Paul writes about the treasure within us in 2 Corinthians 4. He says that the treasure within us is in jars of clay that are outwardly wasting away resulting in “inward renewal” and “eternal glory.” The unveiling of this eternal glory within us is seen with eyes that focus not on the temporary and visible, but on the invisible eternity. Or not.
Earlier in the chapter, he says that some don’t see it at all, but the cost to them is that they are perishing. The satisfaction with easy and comfortable is often in place of the appetite for the eternal. The status quo at the cost of forfeiting the inheritance is acceptable because there is not a glimpse of the glory that is available. Once you’ve seen the glory, once you’ve smelled the fragrance of the promise, the sacrifice towards transformation is cheap.
The thing about this choice of greater glory is that there is always something to be redeemed. There is no finish line. We will face adversity in some form or fashion and the result will be glorious even when the conditions are difficult. Starting in Chapter 3 leading into the passage in Chapter 4 referenced earlier, Paul writes of us moving from glory to glory. There is always a glory available, with the cost of “light and momentary troubles . . . achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
With that in mind, what we really need is a fresh glimpse. If we get a fresh glimpse of the glory, the temporary troubles are put into perspective and we are well suited to submit again to the transformation. The glory of yesterday wasn’t intended as your destination and if you’ve been hanging out there, ask for a fresh look at what can be a greater glory. Or not.