What a lovely day.
I say that somewhat sarcastically. Yes, it is absolutely beautiful outside. Yes the Chiefs won.
- But I foolishly didn’t go to church.
- The Redskins lost.
- And I backed into a brand-new looking Suburban.
I didn’t go to church because I woke up terribly discouraged, and instead of wisely doing the thing that probably would have encouraged me (attending church), I hid out at home. The Redskins lost because they played very badly and RGIII was not ready to come back full-strength yet. And I hit the Suburban because I looked in my mirrors and over both shoulders and still somehow missed seeing that blasted Suburban parked across from the drive-way I was backing out of.
This brings me back to the post I wrote a few days ago about quitting. And the need not to quit. Sure, the games are really meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Hitting the Suburban, while embarrassing and very irritating, was an accident–my first “exchange insurance” accident since high school–a humiliating accident, but still, an accident. And neglecting attending corporate worship was a very poor decision on my part.
But none of these things are reasons to quit. And therefore I won’t.
You may wonder where I’m going with this. You see, this is the last week of this year of my life. Friday I start a “new Year” of my life…..I turn, um, a year older.
Birthdays have never really been a big deal in my life. We were never big celebrators of birthdays while growing up. And even after getting married, birthdays have mostly been celebrated on a very small scale.
But now that I’m getting……older…….I look at birthdays a bit differently. And now that I’m a believer, I look at birthdays a bit differently. I don’t dread them—no, instead as the date approaches I feel compelled to “finish well” this year that God has given me. And I see the new year as a chance to start again; to try again. I love new beginnings–the start of a new year, the start of the school year, and the start of a new year of life: a birthday.
Hebrews 12:1 says: 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,
The writer of Hebrews urges us to lay aside the weights that weigh us down. To lay aside the sin that weighs us down. Notice he describes this sin as clinging so closely. So closely–isn’t that truth?
And then we are to run–with endurance–the race set before us. We are not to be Quitters.
I want to finish this year well. Strong. Encouraged. And I want to run the race of the next year that God lays before me, no matter what it may hold. I’ll admit, I’m gun-shy. I’ve seen how life can be ripped apart in a matter of moments. I’ve experienced it. Yet I know my God is Sovereign and whatever lies ahead in the next year will be sifted through His loving and almighty hands.
So, I enter this last week of this year of my life, discouraged yet encouraged. Frustrated yet hopeful. And determined not to quit.
What about you? What about the race that lays before you? Are you laying aside the weight and sin that impedes your progress? Are you running full strength toward that day when all that is wrong will be made right–when what we see dimly now, we will see face to face: Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?
My friends, I ask you to pray earnestly, real prayer for me for this next year as I continue to press forward, to fight for every inch, to seek out what God would have me do in this next year. Time does have a way of healing pain. I see hope like a light dimly. I see future where often I do not. And I feel purpose that I rarely feel. I want to grab hold of these three: hope, future and purpose and run this race as fast as I can, straight into the arms of my God.