Have you noticed that when we choose to pursue the path less taken, or to accomplish a good and healthy thing in our personal lives, or especially to participate in the work of the kingdom, we frequently meet with some resistance?
This week I began training for my second marathon. While it is less intimidating than training for my first, it's still a massive commitment of time and energy and effort and mental fortitude. In fact, in some ways beginning the training program feels more overwhelming this time, because I know exactly what I'm saying yes to. But I also know why I'm saying yes, and that the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual benefits of this journey are worth the price I am about to pay.
So as I began my training this week, I felt ready to succeed, to fight for my health, to win. But do you know what happened on my first run? I got a shoe full of fire ants. UGH!!! Not a great way to begin. I looked like a wild woman out there on the road, flailing my shoe around and then throwing it away from my body so that I could escape the dislodged ants that continued to attack me. It was embarrassing and painful, all at the same time.
The second day of my training, I stepped on a snake and nearly stepped on maggot-infested armadillo carcass. WHAT?!? I know I live in Florida, but still. I don't ever need to come that close to either of those encounters. As I was running home on my second day, I was already feeling the resistance, and hearing it in my head.
This is harder than I remembered.
It's hot, and I'm tired.
Something is already trying to steal my joy.
It reminded me of our kingdom work. This same sort of resistance comes against us every time we say yes to God. In thinking about our church right now, I see the ways we are facing resistance. In many ways, we've been in marathon training for the last few months and we are about to run one together: T.R.A.C. This camp for foster kids is such beautiful and important work, but it has taken and will take a massive outpouring to see it through. I am grateful for all the ways that Element has rallied and given time and talent and energy to make this a reality. But I also see the resistance.
So here is my encouragement to us today: keep pushing through.
"So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith."
- Galatians 6:9-10 MSG
Let's remember why we are saying our yes.
Let's remember that the enemy will not have the final victory.
Let's remember to keep our eyes fixed on the Author of the One True Narrative of Redemption.
Element - you are chosen, blessed, broken, and given. Your lives and your outpouring and your love matters. Thank you for doing good.
All my love,