summit 2
“The degree of satisfaction is directly proportional to the degree of difficulty. The harder the climb, the sweeter the summit.” – Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker

I love watching people who are really good at what they do – do it. Olympians inspire me; those who win the World Series or the Superbowl or the World Cup or the Masters are often overcome when they finally see that they have won. Believing in and working for a goal are a lot harder than having the medal hung around your neck. We celebrate the win, but we almost never see the years of tedium and sacrifice that precede these victories.

I would love to hear your answers:
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done? Why was it hard? Why did you do it?

Most of us will never hold a national title or wear an Olympic medal. But our summits may be even more consequential. Choosing to love people who are difficult, ignoring what is easy and fighting for what is right, refusing to give up our faith when life is hard or unfair or painful are the price we may have to pay for victory over our circumstances. Holding fast to what you know is good and right is so much harder than giving in to mediocrity and convenience. But for some it may look more like keeping a job, staying away from alcohol or drugs, or finally getting a diploma. The sweetest victories are those that required the very best in us, and bring us to a new beginning.

Those who attempt only what is easy never achieve much of any significance. The view and the celebration are at the top, but you can’t get to the top without the climb. Too often we choose to take the easy way out and rob ourselves of the view at the end of a struggle. May you never miss a celebration or an incredible view because you were unwilling to make the journey.