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Monday, August 14, 2017

No Shortcuts

My son when he has about 8 or 9 would often ask when we were driving somewhere "Dad? Do you know a shortcut?"  To his question I would have to reply "No Derek. There are no shortcuts".   

We are all like my son Derek.  We look for short cuts in life to make our lives easier in some way.  Some people who are scared of marriage think that living together is a way to "short-cut" the process.  Marriage seems to long and difficult and we want a way to "try it out before buying".  But all too often this only worsens the relationship when they do decide to get married because they have developed bad habits that are not conducive to a good marriage.  Some people never even get to the alter at all and waste many years trying to convince the other to take that final step.  

Other people who get addicted to drugs see drugs as a way to "short-cut" the process to feeling good.   Our brains develop their own opiates internally but it takes a lot of hard work to produce them naturally.   A pill form is so much easier of a process and many go fall for it's false claim.  We look for short-cuts in our jobs and careers.   It could be lying to customers to gain sales or lying to our boss to gain their confidence. Eventually these lies catch up with us in the end. 

We also want shortcuts when it comes to our faith too.  Do I have to go to church?  Can't i just listen to the sermon when I have nothing better to do?  Do I have to give money to the church?  Can't i just tweet or give a Facebook share once and a while?  Do my kids really have to spend 2 years in confirmation?  Can't they just go on a weekend retreat and cover everything they need to know?  Do I have to forgive my brother or sister who sins against me?  Can't i just send them a text on their birthday or something?

In Matthew that when Jesus was about to be crucified they tried to give him wine mixed with gall which was a type of pain killer to help make him less resistant to them nailing him.  Jesus instead spits it out and refuses to drink it.   Here is Jesus being given a pain killer to help get him through it and he refuses to drink it.  One wonders what the soldiers thought when they saw this.  I hate pain so much I would be just the opposite here and drink as much as I could, but not our Savior.  No one was going to be able to point at him and say later, "He didn't feel a thing!".  He was determined to take all of our suffering on him.

Jesus never took a short-cut to saving us and we should never take short-cuts in our relationship with him or with each other.   

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