We read that verse together as a congregation on Sunday. Betsy Ivy, our current intern, preached an excellent sermon, even bringing in that passage as a perfect seque to a final point. But what stood out for me was something that she didn't mention. To think about what is true is harder than one might assume.
For instance, every morning I drink my first cup of coffee because I believe that life is hard and I love the taste of hot coffee with cream. I follow the first cup with a second and a partial third, because I believe that life is hard and I need a strong beverage to return to consciousness after a night of sleep.
This morning I noticed how much energy the coffee gave me and how that energy made me want to do something, so I ate a mid-morning snack (just like I usually do) and moved through the morning hours a little too fast. By noon, I was exhausted from the morning buzz.
I wonder if the mantra that I have taken "life is hard" is all that helpful for me. Life can be hard. But life is so much more than difficult and trying -- and that is the truth. Tomorrow morning, I am going to experiment. What could my morning be like if I drink less coffee? Might I notice some of the softer aspects of my life? I wonder if I might be able to savor them a little longer and let the lighter, brighter things I notice mean more. I have changed my eating habits this past year and so I know that I can mess with my coffee routine. I am guessing that I will need to make some long-term changes before I stop feeling that life is fundamentally hard.
Are you aware of mantras by which you live that could be challenged and perhaps dismantled? What are the unspoken codes by which you live?