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Friday, September 12, 2008

Salvation is in the struggle.

When I started this blog, I wasn't exactly sure where I planned to go with it (see my profile). In general, I intend for it to be a) entertaining and b) enjoyable for me to write. I try to be funny and lighthearted in most most of my musings. But every once in a while, something happens in my life that makes me go hmmm...

That happened to me today and I don't want to let it pass without sharing it with you all. I was talking to a friend of mine. (Ok, he also happens to be a priest. Now don't all you Methodists, Mormons, Hindus and Hare Krishnas run away. Stay with me...) We were talking about life and its ups and downs and he said to me "Salvation is in the struggle."

"Salvation is in the struggle." That really struck me. In part because it is spiritually significant given that as Christians we know that without Jesus coming to earth as man, salvation would not be ours. But the statement is also applicable in so many other parts of life. If we think spiritually of salvation as our triumph over death, then our triumph over life's smaller issues comes from our struggle to get past them.

For instance, acing a test in school that we really didn't study for is good. Acing a test that we studied for with great concentration for many hours is even better. Our efforts -- the struggle -- make the reward -- the salvation -- that much sweeter.

If we endeavor to lose weight and are able to drop 15 pounds just by cutting out snacks, terrific. But if we invest time and energy into changing the way we eat, getting more exercise, getting better sleep, our struggle makes achieving our goal that much bigger.

I don't think that "salvation is in the struggle" means that those for whom things come easily should not be or are not pleased with what they've achieved. But it says to me that the "prize" is not only the achievement of whatever it is we seek -- a good grade, a more fit body, a more peaceful existence, greater communion with our God -- but that the process by which we achieve it is as important as the achievement itself.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think you are exactly right. If I am following you, the compairsison could also be made of accepting a gift but doing nothing or little with it. Salvation is a gift and much sweeter if we follow God's words, will and share it with others.

wanda S.