Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Running in the same direction...

I went on a long run the other day. It was a great re-fresher course on perseverance (the Lord taught me this first through marathon training and my first appointment). What was particularly delightful about it was that I only had to run in one direction. After the alloted time/distance some friends drove by to pick me up.... and it struck me that I really dislike having to double back on runs.
I think this has to do with life as well. I don't enjoy having to re-learn the same things over again. I feel like it's a waste of time. Wouldn't it be amazing if everything the Lord taught us we learned, incorporated into our lives and then kept on running. It made me wonder how many times I've doubled back, circled around the same old routines... learning the same old lessons - without even much of a view. I'm determined to cover new territory this year. You?


jsi said...

I know what you mean- I hate to double back over anything. (Great to have friends that will pick you up on the way! What a great feeling!) When I am walking, I lay out a circuit route so there is no backtracking. When working, I plan out what needs to be done so that I can lay it out so it isn't done twice or overlapping too much. In our preaching calendar, we utilize a lectionary preparation process to instill foundational building, movement and further intentional steps through Christian education and preaching.
But in spiritual matters, I consider there is a different impetus, a different Governor if you will. There must be room for conviction of the Holy Spirit towards the spiritual realms which a believer will encounter. Within the sacred activity and direction of God's movement, we are not the motivator/convictor/illuminator/ - God is. His Holy Spirit may draw and compell our souls into areas that have already been visited before, lessons which have been learned, experiences which have already been encountered.

And there is depth and treasure within this new journey.

God has a reason for everything, and uses everything. It is admirable to strive for new ground to cover, but when we pray the prayer Jesus taught His disciple to pray, the most critical area of the prayer is very early. "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven." This section of the prayer will always incite God's divine activity when it is sincerely sought - He will answer this prayer - Definitely - and we may not be 100% sure which spiritual ground this will cover.
The spiritual lessons I encountered while facing the variety of senseless deaths from suicide should not be placed on a shelf in the "been there, done that" pile. They have needed to be used, revisited, reissued, recovered. These were not lessons for me, exclusively, but for other people, different people who have needed to walk that path. It is not a superior sharing, me highlighting and divulging my journey, step by step, but the factor that I have encountered that bend in the road, that shaded place, that pothole on the left which brings an authenticity to the spiritual lessons learned.

The sacred practice of spiritual disciplines including fasting, prayer and contemplative reading will regularly "cover ground" that has been "covered" before, but they should not be discarded or avoided because there are already footprints in the sand in that area.
When God brings us around to a lesson again, it is not a sign of poor planning or inferior weakness, an internal combustion misfiring. It is to mine the deep and valuable treasures that are present and carefully chosen for us to discover. It is underscored by Lamentations 3:22-23 and the songbook #983 - "Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning with Thee; Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not; as Thou has been Thou forever wilt be. Great is Thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see; As I have needed Thy hand hath provided; Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."

"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for His compassion never fails. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." NIV

God, who never changes, who always provides, who instensely loves us, who has been eternally faithful shows Himself to us again and again, as if new every morning.

I always look forward to your posts, yet do not comment very often. I am only on eblogger once a week, and mostly that is from a disciplined point of view. I appreciate your writing and your testimony and I pray for your ministry and your family where you are right now.

Heather said...

great blog babe. I wonder though,with the way I'm put together and all of my tendencies and patterns if I need a couple kicks at the cat (so to speak)each time in a fuller/richer/deeper way, ever expanding my understanding of me, Him and others...