Like every other year that has ever existed, 2012 was a year of transition.
- Our family moved from Cedar Rapids Iowa to Naperville Illinois; I left Eastview Christian Church after 6.5 years to begin a new ministry at Naperville Christian Church.
- Our oldest son graduated from high school and began his freshman year at Lincoln Christian University.
- Our daughter just finished her junior year, and returns to Lincoln Christian in a few weeks a senior.
- Our youngest went into high school.
Other things on my mind this morning:
- We had a cancer scare in October.
- The 1188 miles that I ran in 2012.
- The relationships that left wanting this past year.
- The trips I’ve taken: Louisville, Missouri, Colorado, Virginia, Iowa and South Dakota.
A few weeks ago, I was in Anderson’s Bookshop in downtown Naperville. There was a Runner’s World calendar/running log. As I was checking it out, I saw the following page:
My running goal for the year was 1200 miles. Beginning in March of 2012, I noticed pain in my groin; rather than slow down, or get it checked out, I did what I always do. I ran through it. Then, in mid-June, I was done. Weeks off, doctor visits, rehab. In late July, I started up again. I’m “back,” as they say. But…so what. To paraphrase Paul, poorly, if I move across country to a different ministry, raise kids in the faith, teach others the faith…but have not love, it’s all for naught. Worthless.
Who “held me back” in running the race, the 1200 miles? Me. My pride.
And that’s the same thing the holds me back in my faith. Me. I hold myself back in my refusal to live out the promises that God gives me.
About 4 days ago, I realized that despite me time off in June/July and August, I was a mere 30 miles from my original goal. Saturday, I came up with a plan…run 15 miles on both Sunday and yesterday. Easy. Sunday’s run was 16.65, with me walking part of that, it was brutal. Despite days, weeks, and months of running, I just wasn’t ready. Ultimately, I fell short.
Often, that’s how I approach my relationship with Christ. I take time off, and then, in my arrogance, I try to catch-up. But that’s not how it works, that’s not how grace works.
This morning, as I read The Daily, God spoke. In the Luke 2 text, we read that Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and favor, with God and man. In 2 Timothy, Paul writes that he has “fought, finished, and kept” the faith.
As I think to 2013 and beyond, it is Christ, in whom the Fulness of the Godhead dwells (Father, Spirit, Son according to Colossians 2:9) that dwells within that allows us to “fight, finish, and keep” (Mark 1:8). It is my hope to allow Him to function in 2013 to accomplish His will in my life.