In a conversation with a friend the other day, I was reminded that the only things that are lasting are hard and take time. This a totally opposite concept from our world. I text instead of call…Call in the car instead of at home…order my food to go…have a vacuum that sort of cleans the floor for me…send mass emails to disseminate information…pay bills on line…keep up with friends on facebook…fast forward through commericals with a DVR…I could go on. This is a deceptive life for me to lead. I begin to think and wish that there is a short cut for relationships. I think “this should not take this long or should not be this hard.” I start equating hard with bad or not worth it. Whereas, all the good, rich things in life take time and energy and exhaustion (marriage, friendship, parenting, developing skills). The very things that matter make you want to give up several times–sometimes everyday. The deepest, most beautiful relationship we have takes investment, faith, sorrow, brokenness, study, fasting, etc. Our hearts are purged of sin and filled with love and obedience in the Father over long periods of time. Like a farmer who tills the ground, plants and waters and weeds and harvests over months and years, we must go back to the Father day in and day out. This does not jive with the lessons I am learning as an American. Life gets faster with technology and therefore, it seems that my heart looks for that instant gratification of growth in Christ and in relationship to others. I want to skip the very reason I am here–to be with and learn from my Eternal Father. May my heart not jump ahead…may I sit with him to learn and grow and worship. And, may I sit with others and share with them in that way, too. May the concept of discipline be practiced in my life daily and may I have the wisdom and grace to teach others that as well.