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Do you remember when you first heard the mother-load of life lessons?

March 27, 2018

You most likely first rolled your eyes at this statement hearing it come from one you called parent. One whom you were convinced was put on this earth to bark out clichés, cause you to become dizzy from the amount of eye rolls necessary to respond to the one-liners, and make you do things that were totally “unfair”. Then to your protests of this blatant imbalance in life, they would firmly reply to you the relic of all clichés: “Life isn’t fair!” After they dropped that one, the mother-load of life lessons that they felt was their duty to impart on you would come rolling out of their mouths with ease and emphasis: “Nothing worth having comes easy”.

How many times have you wished to prove that wrong?

How many times have you tried to prove that wrong?

Ever try to take a short cut through the wooded area that is marked “No trespassing” and find yourself battling a massive walking wounded case of poison ivy for the next couple weeks? Walking around the forbidden path would have only taken 2 more minutes. In hindsight was it worth it?

As a student ever “share answers” with your BFF only to have to serve detentions, groundings, AND earn a zero that threatened your entire grade?

Have you tried that fad diet? That latest “sure to lose 10 pound” practice? Ever purchase those diet pills that promoted model-like physiques that were guaranteed to be THE quick result, and totally worth any and all side effects that might occur.

Try that “no work out, eat what you want and follow with this cleanse” yet?

How’d that work for you?

Staying fit and healthy in mind, body and spirit is HARD!!! There is no easy pill, practice, or drink to bring us to the best we can be. Only hard work and a commitment to want to be in that place.

As much as we cringe to say it, those elders who bellowed that phrase most likely had many battle scars and lessons learned to back up their belief in what they preached.

Today we are in what appears to be the quiet days of Holy Week. Kind of a let down from the “party like it’s 0 AD” celebration the city had upon the arrival of the One who was sent from God to change the world. On Monday was Jesus and his nursing headaches and sore feet? No, Jesus was up early with his BFFs in tow and heading to where his heart and spirit needed to be: His Father’s house. Upon arriving I’m afraid Jesus caused even more of a scene on Monday than He did on Sunday. On this day, this quiet Monday, while He was under watch by the ones who were determined to take him down, Jesus made sure everyone knew how He felt about those who did not respect His Father’s house.

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” ~ Matt 21:12-13

Jesus put himself on the fast track for His days on this earth to be numbered even quicker than they already were.

Jesus never took the easy path, He never did the “avoid eye contact so you can’t say you saw it” move, or the “I know this is wrong but I don’t want to upset anyone” approach. Jesus was always very clear: right is right, wrong is wrong and the way to Heaven is not going to be earned without a messy, challenging, scar producing, battle tried and tested walk. He came to show us that the entrance to Heaven, the “paradise” that He wants to share with us isn’t going to earned by saying “please” and “thank you” and punching your Sunday church going card.

You’re going to have to upset some tables, get your feet dirty walking the harder road, lose some friends, change some habits, push yourself to have the expectations of yourself that He has for you: to live in His image. Now that doesn’t mean to go seeking an opportunity to overturn some physical tables, though it does sound like a stress reliever. It means however you may have to turn down that offer to do that thing that you were feeling kind of unsure about, it may mean you have to have a face to face with that someone that you owe an apology to, or perhaps you have been representing yourself in one manner and carrying on a completely different lifestyle on the flipside. It would be easier to live a life of ease than it will be to live the life that will bring you to the face of God to hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. We are so very glad that you’re here.” We won’t get there by letting someone out of the parking lot before us, nor will we get there by going to church every day. You have to be the “church” every day. You have to live a life that is beautiful, pure and holy in the eyes of God. Living the commandments, especially the most important one as He stated: “Love the Lord thy God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself.” This IS not easy, nor is how hard it is fair.

There is no pill, easy track plan or sofa-sitting method to stay fit and healthy.

There is no sign on the dotted line, profess your name as a Christian and enter into Heaven guarantee.

In fact Jesus was quite clear to tell the truly kind, good Christian wealthy man, who so badly wanted to be a follower of His, how hard it is: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter Heaven.” Wealth is not just money. Some have a wealth of time. Are you sharing it? Some have God given talents and gifts that could better the lives of those around them. Are you using them to help others? Some have funds that could meet a need of a neighbor within their reach. Are you offering that? You might be the one that has the ability to offer to fill some empty time by offering to drive someone to the pantry, pick up a prescription, join in a group that is helping offer the assistance of lawn care for a senior; mentor a young person who has been hurt by the elders that he has been given to; or lift the spirit of a very lonely senior who feels the world has not only passed them by, but truly forgotten them.

Choosing this walk is hard. Choosing to live to please Him and not others will ruffle some dove feathers. This life walk will upset some “tables” in your personal, financial or emotional daily life.

It isn’t fair that we have to work harder than we already are.

I promise you that when you commit to challenging yourself to rise up to what you were created to be, a beautiful reflection of the most perfect love ever created, it will not be easy, but oh my friend it will be worth it.

I committed to it years ago and haven’t got it right yet, however, I open my eyes every morning thanking Him for another chance to do it better and asking Him to walk it with me. I embrace Holy Week for the challenge that it brings and for the joy waiting at the end of it, and of the walk.

Wishing you peace,

Terri O’Neill-Borders


Hope and Friendship Foundation
721 Hickory St, Lemont, IL  60439

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.  Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Proverbs 31: 8-9

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