There Must Be an Easier Way…

…That was my response when I first heard the story of Steve Simoff (multiple links and videos below). There has to be an easier way. That’s ridiculous.

The 61 year-old Simoff is the Davis City Iowa man you may have heard of recently. In order to keep his job as a maintenance worker in a casino in Osceola, he often walks to work. 35 miles one way.

35 miles one way.

He leaves his house at 3:30 to get to work by 11:00 for his overnight shift.


Steve Simoff. Des Moines Register

He does own a vehicle, but he was having trouble making ends meet to purchase gas. His wife has been on disability since suffering a stroke.

“I just said one night, ‘To heck with it. I got a family to support.  I got a job to keep, so I’m out of here. I just walked out my door, and ever since, I’ve been doing it without even thinking.”

In answer to your questions…

  • Yes, he sometimes gets picked up on the way.
  • No, he can’t use a bike because of arthritis in his knee.
  • He often gets a ride home to within 8 miles of his home.
  • No, he doesn’t sleep much.
  • He wears out a pair of shoes every two months.
  • He makes $9.07 an hour and doesn’t move closer because living in Davis City is cheaper.
  • Yes, a GoFundMe page was created for him so he may not be walking by the time you read this.

“I don’t like him walking to work, but I see the necessity in it,” said his wife Renee.

Now, let’s get back to my reaction, which is what I sense God addressing in me.

As my wife and I were watching the story, my very first reaction wasn’t “I admire him for making the sacrifice…” or “I hope I’d be willing to do that…” “Bet he’s in good shape…” or even “I wonder how I can help…”

My first reaction was to try to solve his “problem.” I was figuring out easier ways for him than to walk 35 miles to get to work. All of the ways you might be thinking about. In this day and age, I thought, there must be an easier way.

But then I thought about that philosophy and how often I apply it to my own life.

“Lord, there MUST be an easier way…” How often is that my first reaction to the hard things that come? How often do I immediately try to short circuit what God may be wanting to do in me by striving for ease, comfort or efficiency?

The truth is, in the economy of God, often “hard” is best, and my comfort zone is the worst place I can possibly be. That’s what I think about now, when I think about Steve Simoff.

I’m not saying this because I’m in any need. I’ve learned to be content in whatever situation I’m in. I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when I’m hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13

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