Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Strange this. A while ago an idea came into my head about a traveling salesman, that I should make him a music CD to listen to in the car as he's traveling around.
I promptly did nothing. Every now and then as I listened to my iPod I would think, oh, I must put that on his disc, that's a really encouraging song.
So, more than a month later I get another prompting of the Spirit. I need to complete these little tasks. So I started the compilation. It took me about a week or so, but Sunday morning came and I thought I'm going to get this done and finish it, then I can hand it over to him at Church.
Thing is, how on earth can this be the Spirit? It's such a little thing and not really very dramatic. it's not like the Spirit has told me to go and lay hands on someone or raise the dead is it. It's a CD!
So, I'm at Church and the guy gets up to give a testimony of what has happened to him this week.
He tells us all he's got a new job, he's back on the front line of sales and his words were "I need to start wearing the armour again" and also he was given a car! Yes, a car! And not just and car but an E type Mercedes!
So, after Church I go and hand over the CD and say I felt I needed to do this for him.
His face was beaming. He said he hadn't got any music in his new car and he really wanted something encouraging to listen to.
I didn't tell him, but the first track is Phil Driscoll Armour of God.
All I can think is I must complete those little tasks the Spirit gives me a lot sooner. Maybe it will lead to bigger ones.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
1 Corinthians 9
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
1 ...and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
Something that's been with me a long long time over the years, and has reared it's head again recently is endurance.
When I was in school I was an excellent athlete, usually winning the 5 star Amateur Athletics Association award in Pentathlon.
I was a great sprinter, and could handle a 200 meters pretty well, but anything longer was a hardship. I wasn't trained for this kind of endurance. I was a winner at the sprint but in the mile would do well if I came in half way through the scoring.
What I learned from trying long distance running is that the start goes well. You have all the energy, you have the plan in your mind of how you will pace yourself and who you will pace.
The end goes well, you find that extra bit of energy, and you make that last high energy surge for the line.
The hard bit is the middle. When the start is long gone and the end is nowhere in sight. There's just the plod, plod, plod of the mundane as you put one foot in front of the other and just carry on.
The same is true in the Christian life.
The start is exciting, you feel you can take on the world. Everything is possible. You know how the story ends and you know where your place will be when the final curtain goes down.
But the bit in the middle can be hard going.
How do you keep going when the tough times come, or even worse than the tough times...the mundane times. Days of blandness. Days of non events where you just go through the motions of living.
I know some people may say, "hey, your a Christian, every day should get better and better!" but we actually live in the real world, and the real world isn't like that. Some days don't get better and better, some day's nothing happens at all. And sometimes, weeks are like that. So what can you do?
You have to stay hungry. You have to strengthen yourself. You can't afford to become lazy, to become disinterested or even worse, dispassionate. And that's where the hard work comes in.
I'm sorry the answer to all this isn't an easy one, where you just say a prayer and all is right with the world. It's more a case of building yourself up with the truth. Speaking in tongues, not letting any negative thought find a foothold. You have to keep going, believing what you knew at the start and wait patiently for God to refresh you along the way.
You just have to keep going.