Just another traveler on life’s highway, hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful; beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.
I have great memories of the days not too long ago when my body allowed me to be a passionate jogger. Most memorable was the Sunday that I was able to do a 5 mile run and then, with abundant energy and strength in reserve, a 15 mile hike through the countryside which I called home. It was exhilarating to return to my house, enjoy a hot shower, and a hearty dinner. I was a jogger for many years until the aging process caught up to me and sidelined my ambitious running routine to a vigorous walk.
The key element to a successful run was endurance. I did not always have a desire to run 5 miles, I did not always feel that I could complete the challenge. Sometimes it was simply putting one foot in front of the other, focusing on a roadside tree 100 yards ahead, and then upon arriving at that tree finding another goal 100 yards further ahead. But, the carrot on the stick was that runner’s high which told me that my world was as close to perfect as it would ever be. It was the reward for steadfast, sometimes painful, endurance.
That same ethic of endurance is what keeps me going as a Jesus freak. The world around me which cascades across my viewing screens and in the newspaper does its utmost to take me out of the race, to bring to me knees and cry out, “Where is the justice, where are you God when so much oppression and violence is happening? Don’t you see that I am hurting?” And it is there on my knees that my questioning plea is answered.
“I am that I am. I am love, compassion, justice, wisdom, and mercy. I am the One worthy of trust, deserving of reverence, entitled to worship. I am your hope. I am your trek’s destination. I will always be your endurance through the world’s pain.”
My run through this lifetime will always encounter hazards, slowdowns, and detours. It has been ordained to be that way because running for Jesus is not for wimps. We were told nearly 2000 years ago that the world would ridicule, despise, and persecute us for our devotion. Those who embrace the lies of this world fail to understand the simplicity of a message which was delivered to all mankind.
“I am the way, the truth and the life,” John 14:6, does not refer to a picture hanging on a church wall or a molded likeness of Christ hanging on a cross waiting for our adoration and worship. No, it says that we have an example to follow, the Way, which will lead us to communion with God.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever….for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things….whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord.” Psalms 107
Endurance – it’s a two way street. God’s love for me endures forever. My devotion needs to also be enduring. It will never be as perfect but it can be steadfast.