Life Wasn't Meant To Be Easy ~ With Courage It's A Delight!

This article is based on George Bernard Shaw's, "Life wasn't meant to be easy, my child, but take courage: it can be delightful!" Learning about faith can grow your courage. It can also bring you more peace and contentment than ever before. The fact is: life was never meant to be easy. Accept that and you're on the pathway to real peace.



Life Wasn't Meant To Be Easy - With Courage It's A Delight!
By Steve Wickham

Former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser (1975-1983) was famously quoted for quoting George Bernard Shaw's, "Life wasn't meant to be easy, my child, but take courage: it can be delightful!" It is rather unfortunate that Fraser only used the first line, which has a rather unsympathetic and hard feel to it. Shaw's quote, from his book, Back to Methuselah, is transformed by the second sentence. Fraser was to be quite roundly, and perhaps unfairly, criticised for the "snobby" sentiment with which the comment was couched.

I recall first hearing Fraser's quote used by my mother. And she used it often. Or even it was often enough as a response to any reaction either myself or my siblings had to the 'rough justice' (skewed perception of the child) of upbringing. "Such is life," as Tom Collins also famously said.

Yet this hard phrase is a truism. Life was never ever meant to be easy. It isn't easy for anyone. Each one of us has to suffer; some suffer more than others do, of course. Some suffer greatly because of the life choices they make, and some suffer greatly just by virtue of the life situation with which they've been placed. In other words, for the latter, it's not their fault.

Life is about character growth. It's about faith. One who has no faith is bound to suffer more. One who has lots of faith will still suffer. In fact, the one with faith (who will incidentally also have courage, as faith and courage are synonymous) will be open to much more suffering in reality, though their faith covers much of it and it appears they suffer less. They simply have a better way of coping with the trials of life.

Life was never meant to be easy... and don't forget the second bit. But take courage: it can be delightful. This is surely a marvellous revelation for anyone who can admit that life: is designed to be hard, to require faith, and courage, because help is near, for in the words of the prophet "Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain." (Isaiah 40:4) When we make a straight path for the LORD in our lives, he comes and makes things easier... not easy, just easier. The trouble is, for the person who doesn't believe in God, it requires even a mustard seed of faith to 'give it a try.' (Many can't risk their pride for the humility required to give God the moments he needs to make the difference in their life. A challenge: give him one real month. One real month where you courageously hand your life to him.)

Life will never be easy. It is only designed to be easy when we have been given rite of passage into the next dimension: the ultimate dimension.

What does it say to us now then? Perhaps a good way to look at it is this. 'If life is not easy for me, how hard is it for the poor unfortunate who has it even tougher than me?' It is a great blessing in life to know that there are literally millions of others on this earth, who for a myriad of reasons, are bereft of the comfort we ourselves live in every day. It is not a great blessing that others go without, but it is a great blessing that we might have much in comparison.

Truly the most wonderful thing on earth is to help someone less fortunate than ourselves. This has nothing to do with material wealth. Some people are obscenely rich, yet spiritually they're very poor. A spiritual person can help this sort person; they are less fortunate. To help someone is to know God's blessing: his peace and contentment, his grace, his provision.

Smile. Life wasn't meant to be easy. Can you look into a mirror when the going is tough and smile and laugh? Things could be worse! Look around you. Look at what you have: your senses, your sense of humour, your ability to walk, talk etc. Now, this is making a leaping assumption that you have these things. I would apologise profusely, for instance, if you read this, but could not walk! Or could not talk! Or could not laugh, smell, see, hear, taste or touch!

Life wasn't meant to be easy, but in truth, and proving God faithful, it can be delightful for the courageous person in each one of us.

Take courage and look on the bright side.

© Steve J. Wickham, 2008. All rights reserved Worldwide.

Steve Wickham is a safety and health professional (BSc) and a qualified Christian minister (GradDipDiv). His passion in vocation is facilitation and coaching; encouraging people to soar to a higher value of their potential. Steve's key passion is work / life balance and re-creating value for living, and an exploration of the person within us. His highest goal is doing God's will, in enhancing his life, and the lives of others.

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Comments

Still at Home said…
My SO (AKA Our Hero) says that this quote also occurred in James A Michener's novel "The Source" and he said "life wasn't meant to be easy, it was meant to be life". Whether or not he was aware of the original quote by GBS, I am not sure.
PS your word verification is very hard to read today! :-)
Linda said…
Thanks for that.

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