on Pursuing…

I just heard a message that had as one of its points the importance of perseverance. Pastor Troy used as an example that, sometimes, the thought of running for many miles can seem daunting. But, when you focus on finishing only the lap you happen to be on, suddenly you find you can accomplish far more than you thought.

Which made me think of many times in my life when I absolutely did not have any strength left… I remember when I was 19, working with an NGO and living on a ship – collapsing on the very small bathroom floor and crying from exhaustion, thinking I simply couldn’t go on… then having to get up and go on. Times in ballet class with my legs drained and trembling, ready to betray me – and somehow my brain forcing them just a little higher, just a little longer… Emotional challenges our family has had to face, where it seemed one day more – even one hour more – was too long to endure.

Philippians 3:6,10 & 14 have one particular Greek word in common: in vs. 6 it’s translated “persecute,” vs. 10 “follow after,” and vs. 14 “press” toward. The word in essence means “to pursue.” Paul says (my paraphrase), “forgetting what lies behind, I am reaching toward the future… I aggressively pursue… my greater vocation…”

Don’t stop pursuing your greater vocation… your higher calling. Sometimes that pursuit is painful – a young person I was talking to commented on the need for people to know how to make tough decisions despite the personal pain they may cause. She inspired me. Sometimes that pursuit is scary – as with little crippled Much Afraid, in Hind’s Feet on High Places, the family of Fearings will attack and try to make us turn back with whispers and lies. Like Much Afraid, we will find that the Shepherd gives us the strength we need if only we ask.

I once heard Luis Palau ask, “How do you eat an elephant?” His answer – “One bite at a time.” If you are tempted to give up, just make it this one hour longer, and then the next, and the next… You will find your hours turn into days, then weeks… and before you know it, you will not only have endured, you will have overcome! You will be stronger, and you will be able to turn and extend your arms, to help fellow pilgrims pursue their greater vocations.

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Strictly Fearless

“Vivir con miedo es vivir a medias.” That quote from Strictly Ballroom reminds me why it is one of my all time favorite movies! It means, “a life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”

It is a satirical look a the world of ballroom dancing in Australia… A world where you must only dance Federation approved steps – you MUST do everything “strictly ballroom” – decorum and tradition demand it.

[Not really; a wickedly corrupt President of the Ballroom Dance Federation demands it, so he can keep his power and control; tradition has nothing to do with it!]

It is a world where individual creativity and expression are squashed. What are you to do, when the rhythm of your life and the music in your veins dictate otherwise? Should you give in to fear, or should you leap and spin and dance your own steps?

The score God has written for my life differs from the one He has composed for yours… May we dance our own steps. May we be free and encourage others to also be free.

Red Dye Speaks

Saw an amusing reminder the other day of what can happen when you do something you shouldn’t, don’t have any immediate consequences… and go about your life convinced that maybe it wasn’t so bad. After all, you didn’t get hit by lightning! Hehe… yet.

Turns out this guy robbed a bank, and stuck the bag of cash in his pants. In an awkward place. Then he nonchalantly went shopping. Half an hour later, the packet exploded in his pants, causing a big cloud of red dye to emanate from that region of his body, for all the world (and security cameras) to see.

Aren’t we as foolish sometimes? We start acting against the desires of our heavenly Father for us. We hear His voice, quietly warning us. We ignore it and lean further and further (like a kid straining for a cookie jar), telling ourselves it’s really okay… and when no thunder roars from heaven, we think we are safe. This can be any area big or small – truthtelling or withholding truth, cheating, gossiping, sexual immorality, stealing…

Loving reminder: “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Gal 6:7)

For the amusing details, click here: AP Video

Desires

I had seen this quote ages ago… and just ran across it again. So well put!! It exactly expresses what I could not put into words. Ponder their meaning:

“Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are halfhearted creatures fooling around with drink, sex, and ambition when infinite joy is offered us; like an ignorant child content to play with mud pies in a slum, when he doesn’t know what it means to have a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory