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Saturday, October 15, 2016

Not gonna stop

Confucius said, "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." I think he may have been describing many of the times when I looked at my own life and commented that I'd just like to settle in with what I had accomplished so far because things were just "stalled" or not moving. This can be especially true when I am moving toward a weight or exercise goal! It seems like I can get a mile walk under my belt pretty easily, but then my body is ready to take it to the next half mile, but the weight doesn't seem to come off despite my "extra effort" at lengthening the exercise. Just going further doesn't mean we haven't "quit" on the inside. The distance we travel, the goal we reach, isn't so much a matter of just putting one foot in front of the other - it has as much to do with how our minds and hearts are seeing the progress and the distance yet to be covered!

Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward. (I Corinthians 10:13 VOICE)

You will hear coaches of sports teams say, "Get your head in the game."  I would have to say to the coaches that is probably more important to get heart into the game, head will follow. The truth is, we can endure a whole lot of things in this lifetime, but we don't always get as much out of them as we might be able to have if we'd have had a little more "heart" in the game.  Progress forward is good, but when the head and heart are both moving in the same direction, we are less likely to stop!  Confucius also said, "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."  Boy, isn't that the truth!  We want to figure everything out before we move forward, but God tells us to take the step and he will do the revealing of what we need to know as we do.  Confucius probably had someone just like me in mind when he said, "Wherever you go, go with all your heart." 

I don't think God is looking for us to "just make it through" in life. Nor is he looking for us to hit the first plateau in the journey and declare that to be the place we will settle in and put down roots.  We'd have never found out what was beyond the Rockies if the first brave souls hadn't endured the treacherous passes and hard climbs in order to see beyond those beautiful mountains!  There are all kinds of things trying to slow us down, even working hard to convince us to quit - settling for what we have accomplished so far and just becoming "content" there.  As I have frequently said, "settling" is just not what God wants for us - especially when it comes to vision he has for each of us.  It may not be clear where we are headed, but he expects us to continue to focus on what he has laid before us and then endure, endure, endure.  

There is power in focus. In reading our passage today, it starts with focus - Any temptation you face...  What you face is what you are considering at the moment - it is the object of your focus.  The temptation could be to go somewhere or do something we know will lead to compromise in our lives.  It could also be to just give up, settling for what we have been able to accomplish to this point, growing ever more so content to just stay where we are.  Either way, the power of focus plays an important part in whether we will stop or move on.  Change that focus ever so slightly and you might just see a totally different path than you had seen before!

That way of escape God plans for you is not always seen in our immediate focus - sometimes God wants to show us a different path, but we have to be willing to take our eyes off the path upon which we have been considering compromise in order to see the different path he has for us.  Just sayin!