my determined purpose

{caution: long post-itis}

You might think this is amusing.

In fact, when I reflect, I giggle a bit.

Rewind life 18 years ago,

I had given birth to Courtney and as I looked ahead to her

first birthday, I realized that I was reaching a milestone

age as well.

I thought to myself, I need a physical challenge.

What manner of hormones coursed through my body,

I have no idea the combination.

To think that after giving birth, I needed a challenge of

any sort is a bit puzzling.

But I did.

My running days were long behind me and I decided

to walk the Portland Marathon.

As I began to casually mention this to other friends,

they caught the fire.

Before I knew it there was a group of about 12 women who

wanted to take this physical challenge.

We trained for months and rose early Saturdays

and walked until we couldn’t.

There were 12 of us and then there were 10,

then about 4 and on race day there was just me

and one friend.

Training is hard.

Life is hard.

There were valid reasons that many unlaced their shoes.

Some faced illness.

Some had life upheavals.

Some just got tired of training.

Some lost enthusiasm.

We two showed up in the wee hours of the morning in downtown Portland.

I remember a man asked what my longest training walk had been and

I embellished lied and said 20 miles.

It had only been 16.

His look told me that I might be in serious peril.

The gun went off and adrenalin took control.

Arlene and I walked until our feet were raw

and despite the fact that we discovered halfway, that our personal paces were

different, we crossed the finish line together.

We beamed as our names were called and were engulfed in space blankets. 

 We gazed at our tightly clutched roses, t-shirts and medals.

We had finished.

For a few days, post-marathon, I couldn’t wear regular shoes because

my feet were  swollen, tender and blistered.

The bath I soaked in had also burst a few vessels in my feet  but

you gotta love those endorphins because I thought I was queen of the world.

Would you like to know an interesting tidbit?

I didn’t walk for about 2 months after that marathon.

Was it because I was still healing?

I wish that I could say yes.

The truth is that I set a  goal, completed it but neglected

to set another one.

Last month I wrote about it here.

My pastor has been challenging our church  to look

ahead and ponder areas to work on in 2012.

One of the lessons I learned from the marathon was

the importance of setting goals continually.

I also learned that there is value in the pursuit no matter the outcome.

The women that couldn’t get to the finish line still trained.

They still gained strength

Three years ago, I rehearsed  a bit of scripture.

It’s hard to believe because it feels like it was just last year.

The amazing part is not in the memorizing.

I could not recite it perfectly today, but  those verses have become apart of me.

I can’t tell you how often a single verse will come to mind.

It’s the pursuit  in the midst of finishing.

Setting the goal, helped strengthen my journey. 

Once again I am encouraging you and me to think ahead and see

how God would like to move us along  our path with Him.

Discipline is hard.

Training is hard.

In fact, it can require crazy hours and lonely stretches of time.

There may be those that question your resolve.

Others who try to point to apparent insufficiency

to cause you to question your abilities.

I didn’t need to walk 26.2 miles before I walked the marathon.

I just needed to show up because I had put in the time and the effort.

Have you tried to read the Bible through in a year and gotten weighed

down in Numbers?

Try again.

Even if you don’t make it to the last reading, think of how much you have

gained in the process?

God wants your heart not your tortured perfection.

Are your personal devotion times non-existent?

Commit to reading one Psalm a day until it becomes the norm again.

Read a verse or two from Psalm 119 each day for a month.

I guarantee your love for His word will swell in the best possible way. 

Grab an accountability partner to walk the road with you.

This post has lots of suggestions if you need more ideas.

We are all different and God will speak to us personally.

There is no need to keep up with anyone else’s pace other than your own. 

I see so many who are walking away from the Lord.

It breaks my heart because when life gets hard, we need Him.

When life is relatively smooth, we need Him.

Sometimes our walk may cause blisters,

but remember, a blister becomes a callous.

Callouses allow our feet to absorb the pressure and length of

the long distance journey.

We all benefit from training. 

If we aren’t determined to know Him, it is easy to leave Him behind.


I am pondering right along with you about this year to come.

I don’t know all that God is beckoning me to pursue.

I do know that I will be using the Amplified Bible for my devotions.

In fact, I have already started.

Perhaps it is as easy as a new translation to deepen your love.

I am not the first person to say that life is not a sprint but

a marathon.

I pray that we all make it our aim to pursue Him with abandon

and with a determined purpose.

Let me close with one of my life verses.

Meditate on it this week and see where God wants you

to grow in knowing Him more.

 

[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him 
[that I may progressively become 
more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, 
perceiving and recognizing and understanding 
the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly], 
and that I may in that same way come to know 
the power outflowing from His resurrection 
[which it exerts over believers],
 and that I may so share His sufferings 
as to be continually transformed 
[in spirit into His likeness even] to His death. 
 Philippians 3: 10 (AMP) 
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2 thoughts on “my determined purpose

  1. ci says:

    I have been challenged by God in these same areas of discipline. I also have already chosen to read the Bible in the Amplified version in 2012. We are on the same page sister! Thank you Helen, for the reminder that we are not alone in the struggles and disciplines of life….and also that the pursuit of God has greater reward than any other purpose or goal.

    Like

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