Hopefully most readers will be familiar with Kermit the Frog and his famous song It’s Not Easy Being Green. Kermit is a favorite of Jim Henson’s Muppets for many. In his song he complains about being green, but concludes with a change of mind: “I am green and it’ll be fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.” In the title of this post I have turned his statement into a question.
Following a situation in which one of our grandsons was deeply disappointed and my attempt to help didn’t work, on the way home I asked myself, “Being a grandpa isn’t easy, is it?” As I reflected on what had just happened, I thought back to similar situations with our children and remembered “being a parent wasn’t and isn’t easy either.”
I stayed in Kermit mode and reminded myself of a lot of the roles and positions I have had that were not easy. Being a youth pastor was not easy, being the pastor of a small church was not easy, going to graduate school was not easy, being the founding pastor and a senior pastor was not easy, teaching at a college was not easy, and teaching a Bible class at our local high school this past year was not easy.
As I continued to think about these things I realized what a privilege all these roles and positions I have filled have been. If I had it to do it all over again I would not pass on any of the opportunities I have had. As odd as it may sound, part of the fulfillment and enjoyment I have experienced in these positions and roles has been because they were not easy, but it was worth it! If things were or are too easy, I can’t imagine they could or would be as satisfying.
With Kermit the Frog’s line “It’s Not Easy Being Green” in mind, and thinking about everything from being a grandpa to this past year’s teaching, a challenge from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount came to mind. In Matthew 7:13 and 14 Jesus instructs us, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention” (The Message). According to Jesus it’s not easy being a Christian, but it’s worth it!
I agree with Kermit (and borrowing a little from Popeye), “I am what I am and it’ll be fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.” I just want to do better and better with it. What about you?
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