Whoever said, "Inch by inch, life's a cinch" probably didn't get very far. Even little steps can be painful. I see this working on my old Cutlass or preparing a sermon for Sunday. Great achievements take great work.
Mr. Longfellow would add his "Amen" to that last line.
I resonate with Longfellow. His message is biblical. It is one I see often in Proverbs:
There it is, "little by little," the biblical equivalent of "inch by inch." Yes, progress comes slowly, but there is nothing that says "it's a cinch." Quite the contrary, the message of Proverbs is that progress will be messy, stinky, and downright hard at times:
God says, “If you want food on the table, you’ve got to muck the stall.” Inch by inch or yard by yard – worthy efforts take hard work.
- Saving money is hard work.
- Earning a college degree is hard work.
- Teaching school is hard work.
- Carrying and bearing a child is hard work.
- Battling addiction is hard work.
- Recovering from an injury is hard work.
- Praying is hard work.
- Turning a dream into reality is hard work.
Awhile back I read My Reading Life by Pat Conroy. Mr. Conroy, who died in 2016, was a New York Times best-selling author. Two of his books, The Great Santini and The Prince of Tides, became Oscar-nominated films. Conroy’s prose seems effortless. It is exquisite and picturesque. Certainly he’s “a natural.” Actually . . . no! Here is how he describes it:
- “Good writing is one of the forms that hard labor takes”
- “To me, the writing life requires the tireless discipline of the ironclad routine.”
- “Good writing is the hardest form of thinking. It involves the agony of turning profoundly difficult thoughts into lucid form, then forcing them into the tight-fitting uniform of language, making them visible and clear."
Great achievements take hard work!
If you’ve got a goal, God has a strategy: “Little by little.” But don’t expect it to be easy. Yes, God is good. Yes, God helps us. But inch by inch is not a cinch.
Where do you need to work a little harder today?