The often harsh but beautiful reality of life is that anything worthwhile takes time, dedication, and commitment to a vision. This is true of everything, including running a marathon, learning a language, losing weight, making friends, wooing a woman, or becoming a good man.
Nothing truly good comes easy and nothing easy is truly good.
And this is frustrating. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at myself in the mirror and hated the person looking back at me. I get so frustrated with the slow progress I’ve made. I find myself dealing with the same weaknesses, falling into the same pitfalls, and fighting the same demons I did ten years ago—and it often makes me want to give up altogether. But if I do, if I stop short, I will miss becoming the good man I am made to be.
As I look at the lives of the men I admire, the men I aspire to be like, I find that none of them got to be all they wanted to be right away or quickly. Instead, their greatness came from slow, steady work and perseverance.
Being a good man isn’t about having it all together right now or reaching a destination quickly. Being a good man is simply committing to the journey of becoming the man you were made to be, no matter how long or hard the road is. It’s the choice to take the first step of the journey and then continue even when you’re hurt or feeling weak.
Jesus told a story in Mark 4 about the ones who will enter the kingdom of heaven, comparing each of us to seeds. We can each find ourselves in this story, but it is up to us what the outcome will be. Will we be the ones who have good intentions but never leave the beaten path, getting eaten up by the pleasures and temporary thrills of the world? Will we be the ones who look good but plant ourselves in shallow, easy soil that can’t sustain the heat and winds of this life? Will we be the ones who plant ourselves around thorns that choke out the life we want? Or will we take the time, effort, and work to plant, till, and root ourselves in soil that will withstand all this broken world has to offer and end up producing life? The choice is ours.
Who do you want to be and where do you want to end up? Are you on your way?