Shortly after our first home burned down when I was a boy we moved into a small house near the top of a mountain. The entire house was heated by a single, wood stove. My dad, brothers, and I spent days every Spring and Summer cutting and stacking the wood for it. It worked great as long as the wood wasn’t wet. A lot of the time, however, this wasn’t the case. Snowy and rainy days meant wet wood, a weak fire, and a cool house. It wasn’t long then before my Dad decided that we needed to build a wood shed.
I can still remember the day we started it. Dad had me and my brother climb into the pick-up truck after school. A local railroad company had pulled up some unused track and was giving away the wooden ties that went with it. Dad wanted to use 4 of these ties as the corner posts for the new building. It seemed simple enough at the time. All we had to do was load them up, take them home, dig some holes, and set them in the ground. What I didn’t realize was that each railroad tie weighed almost 500 pounds. I never worked so hard or strained so much in my life. I went to bed that night exhausted and had sore muscles for a week afterward. Yes, it was a simple job, but it surely wasn’t an easy one.
Living in love, joy, and oneness with God is simple too, but sometimes it isn’t easy. It is a choice that we have to make every single day of our lives. We often have to give love in the face of hate and share joy in the face of despair. Easy or not, though, it is still worth the effort. Loving God, loving ourselves, and loving others is what we were meant for. Nothing is better for us or feels better to us. When we work for love, we work for God, and when we work for God we will always have joy.
Work hard at the simple life of love then. Even if you do run into some heavy lifting at times God will always be at the other end ready to help you.
~Joseph J. Mazzella