Ponderings

Let’s Promise to Finish

This post from an older blog I no longer write popped up on my Timehop a few days ago and it’s just what I needed to hear.

A few years ago I laughed at the thought of running a 10K, let alone a half. I also swore on all creation I would never run a full marathon. Then things changed a couple of years ago. First, my girlfriends somehow convinced me to join in the Austin half marathon. I almost died. I actually did get injured, but after some therapy I was determined to try again. I was half injured again for the next one, but I still went for it. You think I’d get the hint, but there’s something about running that’s too alluring.

Then came a full marathon. Maybe it was a twilight zone kind of day, but when the aforementioned girlfriends said “let’s do a full marathon!” I didn’t hesitate. But training for a full marathon is totally different. Suddenly 13 miles seemed like nothing when long runs for training were 18+ miles.

But let me be the first to say, I am by no means hard core. Let’s really emphasize that. This is coming from someone who thinks a 12 minute mile pace is fast. And I probably hold the record for the slowest finishes in all of my races. The sprint triathlon I did a few years back? Last place for my age group. Do I kid? Nope, dead last.

I share this because I didn’t start at 18 miles. I literally started with 1. I never won, nor will I ever come close. But I’ll always finish.

It’s easy to portray (especially with the world wide web and social media) that things are going awesome (in everyday life or even while pursuing a dream and goal), but I don’t think that’s fair to anyone, especially yourself. When it’s something worth it, the path isn’t going to be easy. And if you’re honest about the struggles, then not only will the end product be much more sweet, but I believe many more people will be inspired by your journey.

I’ll be honest, my training sometimes sucks. And by sometimes I mean most runs. After a long run, I’ll check my time and think of how horrible it was. Just this past weekend, I averaged near 14 minute miles. For non-runners, that means slow and lots of walking. But I kept going. Sometimes the lesson is in the journey too.

So whatever it is you are working on or if you are just trying to survive, here’s to starting with that one mile (even if it takes you 20 minutes to complete)!

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” Hebrews 12:1-2

What are some ways you want to try and start with one step? One block? One mile?

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Love and Faith

The Valley of Vision

A couple of years ago around Christmas, my church did a sermon series based upon prayers from this book. It was an incredible series. Valley of Vision is composed of prayers and meditations that have been a great edition to my devotional times.

While I could probably type out every day’s prayer, here’s a few of my favorites:

Take of the things of Christ and show them to my soul;
Through thee may I daily learn more of His love, grace, compassion, faithfulness, beauty;
Lead me to the cross and show me his wounds, the hateful nature of evil, the power of Satan;
May I see my sins as
the nails that transfixed Him,
the cords that bound Him,
the thorns that tore Him,
the sword that pierced Him.
Help me to find in His death the reality and immensity of His love.
– The Spirit’s Work

Increase my faith in the clear knowledge of
atonement achieved,
expiation completed,
satisfaction made,
guilt done away,
my debt paid,
my sins forgiven,
my person redeemed,
my soul saved,
hell vanquished,
heaven opened,
eternity made mine.
– The Spirit’s Work

Yet thy compassions yearn over me,
thy heart hastens to my rescue,
thy love endured my curse,
thy mercy bore my deserved stripes.
The Precious Blood

Thy name is excellent,
thy glory high,
thy compassions unfailing,
thy condescension wonderful,
thy mercy tender.
– Living for Jesus

Grant me never to lose sight of
the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.
– Continual Repentance

I thank thee for the temporal blessings of this world –
the refreshing air,
the light of the sun,
the food that renews strength,
the raiment that clothes,
the dwelling that shelters,
the sleep that gives rest,
the starry canopy of night,
the summer breeze,
the flowers’ sweetness,
the music of flowing streams,
the happy endearments of family, kindred, friends.
Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort.
My cup runs over.
– Evening Praise

Strengthen me to give thee no rest until Christ shall reign supreme within me,
in every thought, word and deed,
in faith that purifies the heart,
overcomes the world,
works by love,
fastens me to thee,
and ever clings to the cross.
– Meeting God

Have you ever heard of Valley of Vision? What do you think of some of these meditations? I hope you are encouraged like I was!