When I was recently in Angola with Saving Moses I had an experience that has really been haunting me. If I understood the situation correctly, I met a mom who had seemed to give up hope on her baby surviving and I’m deeply affected by this – so much that this experience is really starting to challenge some of my thinking. I think that there are situations where I quit too easily for various reasons (disappointment, discouragement, lack of progress, bad reports, setbacks, etc). Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that I should quit or give up. And even if I’m only making microscopic progress, I’m challenging myself not to quit.
When I was learning to snowboard, one of the super important terms / skills that was essential to master was the concept of linking turns – being able to turn from moving to the right to the left & vice versa – easier said than done. Today, I have no problem linking my turns & it’s close to second nature for me, but not without lots of falling, spills, pain, etc. What I’ve learned from snowboarding is that there can be lots of lessons I can learn from pain. These include:
*get up & keep trying
*transitions require lots of practice to be smooth
*when I get lazy, I tend to fall more
*sometimes I need to give my legs a rest
*remember the lesson but forget the pain 🙂
I’ve read lots of things that encourage us to persevere, don’t quit, endure & keep going. The Bible applauds faithfulness & endurance on multiple occasions. But I think that we have to be careful that we don’t let the “endurance” trait to justify being stubborn & refusing to change.
I want to endure & be faithful to Jesus & Give Him the total freedom to change & shape me to be more & more like Him. For me, it’s cool to be stubborn in keeping my relationship with Jesus vibrant but it’s not ok to be stubborn & refuse to change or grow – that kind of stubborn is brittle & very susceptible to being broken 🙂
Earlier this year, I began to write my first Saving Moses book. When I’ve written books in the past, I’ve found it to be most helpful to take several days by myself and to totally submerge myself into the writing and then come up for air three or four days later. It sounds intense and it is 🙂
With my Saving Moses book, however, I’ve been trying a different approach. Throughout the first few months of this year, I would take one day a week and devote it to writing about my journey along the incredible adventure of growing with Saving Moses. Truthfully, the one day a week approach isn’t as efficient for me as the totally submersion technique, but at this time in my life, this is how I can make some incremental progress and that’s ok 🙂
The glitch came in April when I had to take a pause for various reasons. I knew that this pause would be for a few months, but now finally today, I get to pick up where I left off with my writing. So here’s my point – just because you have a pause on a goal doesn’t mean that you have to give up and quit. Sometimes a pause can give you some time for reflection, course correction, better focus and greater effectiveness. Don’t quit!
There are things in me that I don’t like. I don’t like that I’m selfish, i dont like various insecurities that are tiresome & there are several more things in me that I’d like to be adjusted as well.
I’ve been thinking of these things lately & as I was reading Rom 5:3-5 this morning, something really struck me. It seems to me from these verses that there are several ingredients that are essential for the sustained changes that I want, 2 of which are essential: hardship & endurance. Indeed, I can see in my life that there are many good results from the combination of hardship & endurance. So I’m reminding myself to celebrate the process & journey to these changes that God is working out in my life 🙂
Well dear friends, I woke up this morning at 1:30 to find one of my kids sleeping in the chair in our bedroom. An hour later, another one woke up & by 4:30, 3/5 of the Bowling family was completely alert thx to a healthy dose of jetlag.
Since I’m quite familiar w the adventures associated w jetlag, I’d give us until around 3-5pm before we hit the wall. So for this day, regardless of what it holds, I’m choosing to let the peace of Jesus guard my heart & mind. I’m not interested in having a day of anxiety, stress or struggle. There is enough grace for each moment in this day, no matter what transpires. Same goes for you 😀
Well, I’m in the middle of painting 2 of our kids rooms & we’re having some fun learning how this whole project is supposed to work. There are some interesting parallels between painting & God:
*progress requires patience & boy am I grateful that God & others are patient a me as I grow, spill, have failures & learn
*slow work tends to avoid fast & messy mistakes – ceilings, corners, edges all require more precision & care
*its ok to get messy – still trying to get paint off of my hands, arms, legs, hair & the kids. Thankfully God cleans me up better than my best efforts
*you can paint over mistakes – paint has great redeeming qualities with mistakes, but nothing is more efficacious than Jesus’ blood
*keep trying – we’ve got another room to do & I know that I’ll learn even more about this process & I’ll continue to get better 🙂
*painting will not be my fall back career, unless I plan to go on a long-term fasting schedule ,)