Some things turn out to be harder than we thought they’d be. Like throwing a baseball, I discovered this one time playing a carnival game with a radar gun. Basically, you threw a baseball as hard as you could against a backdrop. The radar gun would reveal the speed of your throw. Then you had to guess how fast you would throw on your second pitch. If you guessed within one or two miles an hour, you won a prize.
Well, I thought this would be easy. You simply throw the ball the first time. Then you throw it a little slower the second time and you win the prize. I thought if Major League Pitchers can throw about 95-100 miles an hour, I should be able to throw at least 90. So I threw the ball as hard as I could for my first pitch. The radar gun read 52 miles an hour. “What? That must be inaccurate.” But the game host claimed it was accurate. So the game host asked me “how fast do you think your second throw will be?” “I suppose I’ll do 50 miles an hour,” I said. So I reared back threw a lot less forcefully just to make sure I didn’t go over the 50. Then the gun came back showing 37 miles per hour. I lost and suddenly realized that throwing a baseball with control was a lot harder than I first thought.
Sometimes things turn out to be harder than we thought they’d be, like skating. I also had a friend whose parents rented out rooms to international students. I would go over to their place to watch hockey games. We would shout and scream at the TV while these international students from China politely watched. One of them, a guy named Philip Tan, really started to get into hockey. He thought that since North Americans yelled at the TV, he would start doing that too because it apparently helps the hockey players of your team do better. Philip became especially critical of how slow some of the players skated.
Then it came time for Philip to try skating for the very first time. He constantly fell. He couldn’t stop so he’d get going and then glide into the snowbank. And he could only skate at a snail’s pace. He realized that skating was a lot harder than he first thought. He confessed that the next time he watched a hockey game he would be less critical of their skating.
Sometimes things turn out to be harder than we first thought, like living the Christian life. We come to Christ with great excitement over our forgiveness and new life in Him. We might even believe that our lives will contain nothing but blessings and joy from now on. But after that initial spiritual high we discover sometimes the Christian life is a real grind. In fact it’s hard more often than not. We can get disillusioned or disappointed with God when that happens.