>We are a family who likes to be together. A lot. We cherish long weekends and vacation time because we can be together the whole time. The more we do it, the more we like it.
And the more it makes separation difficult.
Today marks the beginning of day three of our first separation for the summer. Doug is in Florida at the Southern Baptist Convention. Last year the whole family was able to go with him, but Orlando, Florida, is much further and more expensive than Lexington, Kentucky. So, he went alone. Two and a half weeks after he gets home he’ll leave again, this time for M-Fuge in Birmingham.
So, how are we doing through the separation? Well, you can slip over to the family blog for the answer to that question. I have a different thought to chase here.
A little over a month ago I wrote a post about how Steven often chooses to need me. Some of those thoughts came back to me today as I pondered our family situation. You see, right now it would be easier for all five of us if we did not regularly make a conscious effort to thoroughly enjoy one another’s company. No, it doesn’t come naturally. We work at it. We have made choices through the years to not be satisfied with separation. There were many times when it would have been easier just to embrace the separation and decide that it was our lot in life. Instead, we trusted God through the separation, accepting it but never embracing it. As a result, we have continually cultivated a hunger to be together. And, the further consequence is that separation is just plain hard.
But, it’s worth it.
I think we get this impression sometimes that if we choose to do things God’s way and according to His plan for us then life will just be easier. It won’t. It will be better – so much better! But not easier. In fact, doing things His way just might be harder instead of easier.
It’s easier to just accept that spouses are supposed to go off to work and kids are supposed to go off to school; that kids go to the grandparents’ or to friends’ houses; that spouses go for guys weekends and girls’ nights outs; that separations are the natural course of life. (Not that I’m saying those things are bad…just that maybe they shouldn’t be natural.) It’s more work to cultivate a lifestyle in which time together is made a priority. And, it’s more painful when separation comes.
It’s easier to accept that we have to live and work the way our culture expects instead of bucking against it to ensure we’re doing things God’s way. It’s so much more work to try to live a Biblical, anti-cultural life in this world – it seems that there are continually obstacles from which there is never a break!
It’s easier to think that less effort, less fighting, and more rest has to be better. After all, we get tired. Don’t we need a break? Doesn’t God want our lives to be smooth and easy? How can God be in it if it is a continual struggle?
It is never better to give in and do things the easy way when the easy way does not line up 100% with God’s Word. Not 50%, 80%, or even 95% – completely, totally, without a doubt lined up with His Word. It is always better in every way to do it God’s way. It’s hard to imagine that something harder could be better, but I guarantee it’s true.
This week the kids and I miss Doug. There will be things we have had to deal with over the weekend and things we’ll have to deal with between now and Friday morning when we all wake up together under the same roof again. But, oh how much sweeter the reunion will be because of our willingness to need each other enough to be accept loneliness today. Oh how much more beautiful will next weekend be because we have decided that God made us to be together. It’s His way – and it’s good.