Where would your ideal place to build a house be? What’s important to you? What are you willing to sacrifice?
As we passed many small towns and villages in Israel, the houses scaled the hillsides. It made for a picturesque scene, and I thought about the pretty views people in those houses must have, but I also thought about the difficulties of building on the hillsides. It seems like everything in Israel involves either an incline or decline. We were always walking up or down, and sometimes those ups and downs were fairly steep. Living on the hillside would assure constant incline living. Good for the heart perhaps, but definitely challenging at times.
So, why not build in the valleys, where the ground is a little more level?
Because that’s where the fields need to go. That’s the best land, the ground that is easiest to till, plant, and tend. It’s the most productive.
Building on the inclines, working around the rocks, living on a steep hill was worth it because it left the nearby tillable ground available. Yes, it would have been easier to build houses in the valley, but it would have been difficult (if not impossible in some places) to farm the hills. It can be with terrace farming, but it’s definitely less productive.
What are you willing to sacrifice in your life for spiritual growth? What inconveniences will you endure, such as, learning tough lessons or putting forth effort when you’d rather kick up your feet and take a break? What costs are worth spiritual growth? Are you humble enough to put others first, endure refining, and let others see the real you and hold you accountable?
Sometimes our inconvenience makes way for growth and productivity we’d never experience otherwise. Our comfort and preference aren’t the most important priority of life.