Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Run the Race with Endurance

It was cold this morning.  My eldest starts the car up for me to let it warm up.  21 degrees is cold.  Warmth finally arrived as we pulled into the school parking lot.  On the way to school this week I have been listening to the radio and they are asking listeners what is your 'word' for 2011.  One person said 'present'.  To be present in God's presence.  Another caller choose 'simplify', actually I have heard that a couple of times.  Others have resolved to get fit and others to be in the word daily.  These are great goals.  The tricky thing about new goals is they take time to get into a rhythm.  Just like my car takes time to heat up in the morning, it most certainly takes time to cultivate a new habit and even longer to see results.  Hang on because the good news is that they do in fact come with the daily, rhythmic patterns we set for ourselves.  If you want God's word on your heart you have to practice it over and over again.  If you want to get in shape it will take time to build up endurance and see change in your body and energy level.  Similar to a garden and preparing the ground, planting seeds, watering and weeding and waiting, so it is with our goals.  Squash your thirst for immediate gratification and reach for the bigger picture.  When I feel like wavering I quickly remind myself of what I want to end my day with.  A conversation with self might look like...

"I don't feel like getting out of my warm bed!  I know my day will be so much better if I have my quiet time.  I am holding on to being blessed by spending time with my Lord."

"I don't feel like going to the gym, it's cold outside and I have so much to do.  I know if I go I will have lots of positive energy and feel stronger in my posture and not choosing junk food after investing an hour in a workout."

My word for this year is "Run the Race with Endurance."  Yes I can count, but I couldn't narrow that down to one world.  I want my life to count in God's eyes.  Anything apart from that is noise and waste.  In order for me to run well I have to train spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally.  Ya can't really have one without the other.  For me, spiritually, that looks like quiet time, scripture memorization, and prayer.  Physical and mental are tied into one ball for me.  When I work out I have a huge serotonin surge that keeps my outlook positive.  Emotionally I know I need sleep, I am a terrible sleeper, so I try to stick to my nighttime regime so I am not a walking car wreck the next day.  Now this is just surface and basic, without these building blocks I can't go deeper into my journey.

Hebrews has been an undercurrent in my life.  One of my first devotions I ever wrote, W.I.T. still sings in my heart.  The first 14 verses of Hebrews is my continued life theme:

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives." 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.

Hebrews 12 announces that God has a race set before me.  There are no do-overs.  I won't pass this way again.   What I keep in mind is how I want to end the race.  Working backwards helps me to know what I need to do in order to get there.  How about you?  What are you striving for this year and what steps will you take to get there.

It's a journey, day by day, moment by moment.  Having a vision for yourself is key.  Just like my car takes time to pump out some heat on a cold winter morning so does accomplishing your goals.  Don't be afraid to try, it would be a real let down to do nothing at all.  Poke at the statis quo, it's not for you!

Pro Rege,

1 comment:

dailygrace said...

Please pray that the Lord will use me to draw my children to Him.