I am so tired of being good.
I’m not very good at it.
Just to be clear, I’m talking about my health. I really do try. And to be honest, I have a strong desire in the deepest part of me to be virtuous and disciplined and healthy, but it’s hard.
Just this morning, when it was time to get up and do my daily workout, I didn’t want to. I lay there for as many minutes as I could, listing reasons why it wouldn’t be all that bad to miss a day. But I know myself, and missing one day will quickly turn into a week, then a month. So I dragged myself out of bed, into my exercise clothes, and worked myself into a respectable sweat.
But I didn’t like it. Not one bit.
I tried to take a short cut once by going to the body parts store. I told the guy I was exhausted, and that I needed to order a younger, fresher version of myself. He handed me an exhaust pipe and charged me forty bucks.
I don’t like eating healthy, either. It’s not so bad when I’m at home, because I just don’t buy the wicked, delicious stuff. But I’m so tired of going to a restaurant that has heavenly fried things, glistening with grease and oozing carbs, and ordering a salad instead.
A salad, y’all. There’s not much you can do to a salad to make it exciting, without defeating the purpose of eating the salad in the first place. Once I create the salad I really want to eat—with bacon bits and croutons and great gobs of grated cheese—I might as well eat the chicken fried steak.
It’s way more fun to be bad. Don’t judge me for saying that, either. You know it’s the truth.
But I also know there are dues to be paid, and I can either pay them now by making small, consistent choices to take care of my body, or I can pay them later, when it all catches up to me and my body creaks and crackles and falls apart at the joints.
I suppose the same is true for many areas of our lives. Being bad is more fun than being good. Gossip can be addictive; it’s hard to walk away or take a stand when we hear juicy secrets about people we know. Showing up late for work and leaving early is a lot easier than giving the extra half hour. Making others meet us on our terms is more attractive than going the extra kilometer for them.
It will all equal out, one way or another. Just like those daily workouts and salads will pay off, I choose to believe that each worthy act we commit creates a ripple effect that will eventually come back to us, bringing in a hefty harvest of health and success and good will. Small choice by small choice, with God’s help, I can create an inheritance for myself that in the end, will be worth the sacrifice.
But just so you know, when I get to heaven, my first meal is going to be a big, fat, chicken-fried steak, smothered in gravy.
Renae Brumbaugh Green is a bestselling author and award-winning humor columnist. She lives in Stephenville with her handsome, country-boy husband, nearly-perfect children, and far too many animals. Connect with Renae at www.RenaeBrumbaugh.com.