Nobody simply wakes up one morning and goes down to the route thinking they'll run the Boston Marathon. It takes practice. Lots of practice. A runner's body has to be conditioned to run great distances. The marathon runner spends months, sometimes years, preparing their bodies and minds for this kind of effort. Typically they rise up early in the mornings and sprint out the door down to the street to begin the jarring and punishing practice, running a little bit farther every day. He must practice keeping his focus as he pushes his body farther and farther. He sets his mind to the task and blocks out any negativity or exhaustion, mental and physical. Day after grueling day he perseveres in his efforts until finally the day arrives for the actual marathon. He has conditioned himself physically and mentally for the event. All the time and effort he's put out in practicing day after day is finally put to the test. All that discipline was not easy but it was essential to finishing the race.
The Christian's life is often pictured as a race in the Bible. If this is true and we have no reason to doubt it, we can rest assured that our perseverance is essential to our success at finishing the marathon. So, how do we build perseverance in our spiritual lives? James 1:2-3 says, "consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance."
The very word perseverance implies a continuing to do something in spite of the difficulties and obstacles. It paints the picture in vibrant colors of one standing the test, completing what was started in the face of all adversity and opposition and the resolve not to quit until the job is done. The runner needs perseverance to finish the race and therefore punishes his body routinely, even though it hurts, so that he will successfully finish the course when the big day arrives. As believers today, we need to do the same thing.
Our training is spent listening to the Holy Spirit, meditating on Scripture, fellowshiping with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and communing with our heavenly Father in constant prayer. Our daily walk is the "training camp" where we build up our perseverance to face hardships of every kind. We learn to pick ourselves back up when we fall and continue to stay the course. We learn to stay focused with our eyes on Christ Jesus our only hope of glory (Col 1:27). And when we do this it pleases the Father in heaven. Our right conduct and conditioning brings a smile to the face of God. And this, in turn, pleases us.
Well for the first time I've gotten up early and have my blog done already. Wow! I surprise myself. This is more like it. It is a foggy, dreary day again today, with the ceiling a little lower than yesterday. Hopefully it will burn off today. Yesterday was cold and dreary all day. That's one thing about living where we live, we have very little fog compared to the Valley. But when we are fogged in it's a big deal around here.
We have to go get our flu shots today at the clinic sometime between 9:00 and 1:00. I hate having to bother but I'm sure I'd hate having the flu even more. We haven't had the flu in years because we've gotten our shots every year. I guess it pays in the end.
I hope to work in the yard a little bit if the sun breaks through the fog today. (It's beginning to peek through the mist in places now.) The leaves are going to keep getting deeper and deeper out there so I may as well get them raked up and hauled out. It doesn't take very long to do it once you put your mind to it. It's that initial umph! needed to get up and out there that tends to trip me up.
Just stopped and turned on the heater now that Michael is up. It felt cold all day yesterday but the thermometer said it wasn't cold so we just suffered. This morning it reads 'cold' so we're going to get some heat. I don't like to turn on the heater when there's still someone sleeping because the bedroom gets so hot the person will wake up in a pool of sweat and that's not very pleasant for anyone. So it's better, if it's not too cold, to wait until the last sleeper is awake.
Just saw another truckload of something being taken down the street to the end of the cul-de-sac. I saw a load of it go down yesterday too. I don't know what they call the stuff but it's rolls of stuff that's rolled out onto the hillside to keep it from slipping in the rain. Anyone know what that is called? It's rolled out on hills to prevent mudslides and I'm not sure if it's burlap or netting but it's something to hold the hill together. They hauled one of the dozers out last week and even though there's one dozer left, it hasn't moved in weeks. Guess they'll start the actual building pretty soon. I don't look forward to all that noise but maybe we'll be far enough away that we won't hear it that loudly. I see new vehicles across the street this morning at the vacant house. Probably new people moving in. This is one active neighborhood. Seems like there's always someone moving out or moving in. Busy, busy, busy.
I had an interesting thing happen yesterday. I was sitting on the couch when I was suddenly just almost overcome with an all-consuming awareness of my love for God! I love everything about Him and I love my life in Him. It was a very powerful experience and it brought tears to my eyes. Have you ever had a similar experience?
Guess I'll stop babbling and go get busy doing something. I just can't think of anything else to write about and I need to go back and check my spelling before closing this out and getting busy with things this morning. I think this is the first time I've ever gotten my blog written this early. Yeah! I'm getting better. It's setting the alarm that's making the difference (and getting up when it goes off!) This coming weekend is communion Sunday which means I'll have to get up at 6:30, ugh! We also have to remember to set our clocks back. Okay, this is going to be it, I need to get busy with things. Need to get my chores done and go get those shots! So until tomorrow ...