Success possible from…not easy. Achievable…but only through painful toil.
As emigrant trains stretched out for miles along the Oregon Trail, memories of what they left behind may have grown attractive. The hard facts of daily travel, coupled with uncertain troubles ahead, certainly tormented their journey.
They found meadows when they reached the confluence of the North Platte and Laramie Rivers, near their eponymous Forts. In them they rested, let livestock graze and…wanted to linger. To be abused after only two days by their Captains. “Up and at ‘em,” they shouted. Dr. Marcus Whitman, having survived the previous journey to Oregon, knew that only “travel, travel, travel…” led to the end of their journey. Groaning in despair, they complied. Leaving behind what offered rest but no goal, they returned to daily toil that guaranteed hardship but brought their goal within reach. By the effort of 15-20 miles a day, the 2000 miles between Independence, Missouri and Oregon or California could be spanned between April and October. But only by daily travel. Woe to those who lingered or sought a short-cut. Westward Vision, 374-375.
Any career, relationship or endeavor yields to repetitious regularity. We may need a rest after so much effort expended. We may take a rest, an appropriate and symbolic “two days”, to re-gather our strength. But we dare not stop for long. Continue, continue, continue what brings the promise of completion. Don’t settle for ease that offers repose but no fulfillment at the end.
Speaking of which: the Christian life can whirl from being difficult, to hard, to impossible. But at the end Glorious and Ecstatic. The unsaved life is easier, broader, tolerant. But at the end…well, nothing you want to be or possess!