Daily Post

The Second Mile

I grabbed a seldom used older Bible off my book shelf yesterday to get a different perspective on the section of scripture I was teaching.  I discovered several markings and notes in this collection and become quickly distracted from my original task as I flipped pages noting things of importance and discovery from a younger version of me.  Some of the markings I actually recalled, others where new again.  Several of them were verses or sections that I still go to often, embossed on my brain from years of meditation.  Then there were passages like this one, that you know, but seem to drift out of your consciousness as time passes.

41 Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Matthew 5:41 (NASB)

This particular sentence, spoken by the Christ as he encouraged his listeners to turn the other cheek when they meet head on with injustice has so many connotations.  It seems to be a call for persistence, a call to be exemplary, and a call to stand out from the crowd all in one.  It seems it could be taken slightly out of context and used as a rallying cry to overcome obstacles set in front of you.  As of course, as I runner, I can draw all sorts of meaning and application from it.  But in the end, it’s just a practical example of how those that follow the Christ should behave – naturally giving more, willingly giving more than asked – especially in the face of injustice and self-sacrifice.

What a simple statement, but what a great challenge it presents.  I think I can see why I would underline it in my text.  When mastery comes, so does all sorts of life change.

How about you, how’s that second mile looking?

Daily Post

Fixed and Fast

Last night I went out for a 4 mile run on the nice soft flat top of the local levee.  Since it’s so flat it can be an easy run or a fast run depending on how you feel.  I intended to do something sort of in the middle – quick but controlled.

I started my run a few blocks from the trail head and just as I approached the start of the levee another gentlemen started down the path.  Uh-no!  a rabbit.   So as I rounded the first turn and could see across the levee for quite a distance I noticed there were several runners and walkers out in front of me.  One by one, I placed my eyes on the back of the individual in front of me and ran them down.  As I approached the first mile, I noticed another runner in the distance, maybe 1/4 mile ahead, and sub consciously I fixed in on him.  I traveled through the first mile 15 seconds faster than I wanted, but I was feeling so fleet a foot and completely in control.  I continued ahead, slowly gaining on the object of my fixation.   I come along side the final runner with about a third of a mile to my turn around marker, the two-mile.  We arrived together at the two-mile mark more than 20 seconds faster than my intended pace and even faster than the first mile. Yes!

He was continuing down the path, so we parted ways and I turned around.  Since there were no returning runners in front of me, I had nothing to focus on but to gloat of my achievements!  And as you can guess, my time greatly reduced on the two miles back in.

This morning, I came across these great proverbs

25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.

26 Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways.

27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
keep your foot from evil.

I could not help but be reminded of my trip across the levee last night.  As long as I had someone to focus on, to fix my gaze directly on, I was in the zone.  Moving efficiently and effectively towards the target – actually not even realizing the effort I was giving!  But as soon as I had no focus.  As soon as I could observe the grass, and the distance, and the birds, and get absorbing in myself gratifying thoughts, my efficiently was greatly reduced.

So it is with our spirits!  Make sure you are focused on the right thing today.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Hebrews 12:2 NIV


Daily Post

Being Uncomfortable

Yesterday I was able to run for the first time in several months. I think I have run maybe 4 or 5 miles total since July. So as a part of this therapy to break down things I was told to run a few miles every other day . Last night I went out for a one miler. Everything felt odd – even my shoes. Every step was uncomfortable – not really because of pain, it just did not feel right. It was just plain awkward.

So here we are on the 11th day of the new year. Many of you are trying new things, many of you are working to change and transform yourself.  And you are probably sitting in a time where you feel really awkward and uncomfortable with what you are doing.    That is how it is when we get out of our comfort zone.  It’s just plain awkward.

But here is what I know – the more I get out there on the roads, the comfort will return, and the growth and strength will return as well.

I think it’s no wonder that Paul equates the Christian life with one of a runner.  Because each day, we must continue to push, continue to change, continue to train, continue to stretch our comfort zones, and we will see change.

Change – not to achieve something, but change that happens ‘in view of His Mercies” that brings glory to the father.

Keep it up.

 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27  New International Version (NIV)


Daily Post

In A Fog

I drove in this morning in quite a soup of fog, and no I am not talking about the inside of my mind.  Although that may also be the case, I was talking about a literal fog.  It was so thick I could not really see more than 2 cars in front of my for a little stretch.

That got me thinking about Hebrews 12.

1Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1 New International Version (NIV)
Yes, that large fog cloud reminded me of all the people who have lived these lives before us.  Those who have dealt with the same issues with deal with, who lived through similar joys and heartaches.  Those who found strength in the same Creator who we get our strength from!
So, wherever you are today, and whatever you are dealing with remember that great cloud from the past that surrounds you, take encouragement from them, and run with perseverance the path you are on!  Oh, and lighten that pack, by throwing out those thing with don’t help you move down the path!
Daily Post

Runners vs Joggers

Yesterday afternoon I made my way lazily down to the restroom facilities were I happened upon one of my coworkers.  After we swapped howdy’s, he mentioned that at lunch he was in a conversation about runners versus joggers, and mentioned that he should have mentioned me- as which one I am not sure.  Then the conversation went something like this.

“Hey, are you still running?” he asked me.

“Yes”, I replied.

He then commented “Not me, I am just getting fat and lazy.  That’s the difference between runners and joggers, runners keep running.”

To which I said “Well, you can do it, it’s just one step at a time”

and he finished as we parted ways,  “You are right. No excuses. I just have to get out there and go!”

Yep, and that is the same way with our spirituality, we can be a spiritual jogger or runner. But I think we are pushed to be runners:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3 New International Version (NIV)

Which are you going to be a fat and lazy jogger, or a running who keeps going.  Get out there and go, or as the Message says “Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in.