It's easy to want to run toward whatever feels "easy". And maybe this is the "human culture" and not the "American culture"...I don't know. But it seems like the "good life" and the "easy life" are culturally seen as the same? Or maybe that's just me?
I'll admit to running toward the easy life on many occasions in my life and it's that desire that I fight to this day. On many a "hard day," I have been known to say, "Why can't life ever be EASY?"
I've been homeschooling my children since the beginning. My oldest is a sophomore in college and my youngest is in first grade. I've homeschooled for 14 years and I have a ways to go yet (maybe 11 more years?). Homeschooling is HARD. But there's the temptation to present it as "easy" to validate my decision to do it. And there's the temptation to present it as "easy" so that others will not be discouraged from trying it themselves. But it IS hard and time consuming and expensive and it often feels risky... However, it's also good and it's worth it and I have no regrets for the extra time I've been privileged to spend pouring into my children and just being with them and knowing them deeper. But easy? No, definitely not easy.
Homeschooling is just one example...there's also our adoption of a sibling group of 4... I love these kids DEEPLY. But is it easy? No, not easy. From the first piece of paperwork we filled out, I'm not remembering anything "easy." It's not easy for them, either, or for our first three children already in the home when they arrived. I fight the fear that to admit the hard is to whisper this was all a mistake. There is not one cell in my body that regrets a minute of our journey...not one cell. I love all seven of my children more than can be imagined and to tell you the truth, if God brought other children to me I would open my arms wide to welcome them!
Then there's my faith walk as a follower of Jesus Christ and my journey to live out His words in the Bible. Also not easy. It's a surrendering of my heart and desires daily. It's living counter culture. But so worth it to live according to TRUTH, to be fully known by my Creator and to know Him too, to live with purpose and to belong to God.
So, all this "hard"...does that mean I am not happy? No, I am VERY happy!! I am happy AND satisfied. I am fulfilled. I have love, I have security is Christ, I have purpose. I am trying to run after things that last FOREVER. Those temporal things I run after tend to use me up and exhaust me and then they break or fail. Not cool. Not cool at all in the end.
I've given up the idea of "easy." I'm running after "worth it."
"And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?" Luke 9:20-25