No, this path is not easy. Accepting the Lord as my savior was freeing and full of grace and mercy. However, following and being bound by my faith proves to be strenuous, difficult and even hurtful at times. The call of a christian is not an easy one. I think many view it as a protective umbrella that we "Christians" use- lip service, if you will. We throw the label of "christian" around so often and in such a general way that it has somehow lost its power. I, too, used to view the "Christian" as simply a belief system that provided me with a little fire insurance-a way of having asbestos lined underwear, you might say, to insure my safety from the fiery pits of Hell.
No, this path is not easy. I have come to learn that carrying the load and responsibility of the position of "christian" is not always comfortable, is not always appealing, is not always rosy. By walking this path, I have opened myself and my family up to ridicule, heartache, and constant defense of our beliefs. Is it not easier to hate than to offer forgiveness before it is requested? Is it not easier to spat the ugliness and anger of how we feel justifying the validity and worth of our emotions and point of view than it is to be still and silent and guided with our words through prayer? That which makes me human, which makes me fallible and sinful in nature, is what I am called to resist, to overcome, to rise above.....all the while knowing that I am a sinner and will fail...daily.
No, this path is not easy. At times we walk alone, against the flow of society, in a different direction of those we love. But if we are following God's plan, His laws, and His voice then we see the light beckoning us from our sin. But at times, does it not sound condescending when we hear someone say, "I'll pray for you" or "God doesn't give you more than you can handle"? That very lip service too which I alluded seems disingenuous and far less than empathetic. I know. I've felt that way...I've said those phrases...I've rolled my eyes at that "christian" who spoke of a "changed heart" and "never being the same". But until I knew-really knew-Jesus and walked and talked with Him I couldn't possibly understand what being a "christian" meant, entailed, required....offered.
No, this path is not easy....but I choose Him, I choose to humble myself and rise above my pride and my sinful tongue to touch the feet of Jesus. I choose to be chastised for my beliefs from ones I love to bow before my Lord when He calls me home. I choose to defend my decisions with Bible verses to spend eternity praising my Father. I choose to teach my boys to overcome evil and stand up to bullies in order to hear "well done good and faithful servant".
No, this path is not easy....