Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Marathon, the hardships, Christ, the path, the finish line!

It is awesome how God provides, takes back, gives back, and allows us to break down to build us up again.

Many times when I think about running, I want to go run faster and quicker to reach the finish line. I see others around me running so fast, strong, and focused that I am convinced I can do it like they do it. But when I hit the road, I realized that I must run at my own speed, my pace, and follow my training and strategies. It is the only way I can reach the goal. Otherwise, pain and injuries await us.

The same applies for our lives. We need to follow God's individual plan and strategies for us. If we follow someone else’s' plan we will not succeed. If God created us to be unique and special, why is He going to have a "cookie-cutter" plan for all of us? The answer is simple, He does not! We must remember that path towards God's promises is filled with shortcuts. Every time we stumbled out of His trail to get there faster, we get further away. There are no shortcuts to God. "Christ is the way". At times, staying in the path may not be what we want, be frustrating, and even bring sadness--we just want to get there. Our Father wants us to reach out to Him for directions and guidance to reach the joy and the blessing He had promised us. It takes obedience, dedication, perseverance, and even time. It's like running. If you don’t believe me, go and try a marathon without training. Training for big races, require dedication, commitment, time and avoiding shortcuts as well. Sometimes, during training for a big race, the best exercise to get ahead is to slow down and even rest. When we derail from the path God set for us, to get back to the trail, we also need to slow down and back track on our steps to find the main path again.

The songs say “what a wonderful friend I have in Jesus”. Indeed, I do. And also, what I wonderful friend I have in Julieta. I am tracking back to get back in the trail God designed for me. I keep to my training to stay close to Jesus and to re-build a friendship that I value and that has blessed my life in a way that I can’t describe! I want to avoid shortcuts to prevent the pain and the frustration these bring those around me, God, and to my life. Friendships are built with encouragement, trust, commitment, and love. My shortcuts have caused pain, I pray that getting back to my trail will bring forgiveness along with healing and joy.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

In Christ,

Francisco

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