I am knee deep in Texas heat! I felt this strange liquid falling down my face and thought, “I’m actually sweating!” (You see, in AZ I don’t sweat. Well, I’m sure I do sweat, but it’s so hot that it evaporates immediately and there’s no real humidity to make me sweat more. So, sweating is a foreign thing to me.)
But, in spite of the humidity, Texas has been great to us!
We have a great friend here by the name of Jackie and she has been an incredible host. We have a casita to stay in, a pool to play in and 3 of the cutest dogs ever to pet.
Today I actually had the opportunity to go on a run and this is something that I never pass up on. What I wasn’t ready for were the “rolling hills” of Texas! I felt like I was doing circuit training. Up one hill and down the other side only to find another one waiting for me. It was awesome though. We are staying in a beautiful neighborhood with no traffic and it was great to soak up the sunshine and the vast greenery all around me (I don’t get a lot of greenery in Arizona). And then I hit mile 4…
Mile 4 is the magic mile for me. It always has been. I tell people that the first 4 miles are always horrible miles for me. I’m not loving it. I am pushing through to hit the fourth mile because it is in this mile that everything else in my world fades away and a peace and serenity like no other falls over me. There is this incredible clarity and the greatest lessons in my life are learned in every mile after the 4th. Today was like no other.
The story of Abraham and Issac came to my mind. It is an amazing story. It is a story of love and sacrifice and one that I have read many times and heard preached on even more. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check it out here. I think that you’ll really like it). But today I really “felt” it in a way that I hadn’t before. Imagine being asked to sacrifice your only son. I am a father of 3 sons and I love them to death. I began to imagine the anger that I would have towards a God that would ask me to do such a thing. I thought about my reaction. I thought about my place in life. I thought about my faith.
Stepping away from the idea of child sacrifice, I thought about the different things in my life that I had birthed or things that I have had a part in creating. For me, I’ve helped to create a ministry. For others, it could be a business or a relationship or something else. It would have to be something that you have a vested interest in and something that you care greatly about.
Now, let me ask you a question… What if God asked you to sacrifice it? What if He asked you to put it on the altar and give it over to Him? Could you do it?
Tough question… I know. But it is one that we all need to consider. There are times when God is going to test us to see whether we are worshipping that which we created or if we are worshipping Him. Now, before I finish my thought I need you to recognize that thing in your life and answer the question.
If He wanted it, could you sacrifice it? Go ahead and answer…
I’m serious! Do it and answer the question already!
OK. Here’s the end of the story. Abraham didn’t have to do it, but God needed to know that he would be willing. God used the very thing that He called Abe to sacrifice, Isaac, to usher in the 12 tribes of Israel. God not only didn’t take Isaac, but blessed Him and His generations. God just needs to know that HE is the one you worship, not the ministry or work that He has called you to.
About mile six a song came up on my Pandora Station that I really like. I probably really like it because there is not much music that utilizes the tuba anymore, but that is for another discussion. The song is by Yael Naim (sweet name!) and it is called “New Soul”. Today, the words really smacked me across the face. They were her words… but in many ways they are my words too. They go like this…
I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit about how to give and take.
But since I came here
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake
Today, her words hit home. It is my story and it is your story and it is our story. We mess up. We have good intentions, but sometimes don’t always get it right. We have all found ourselves “making every possible mistake”.
And I thought about these two ideas exploding together in my mind. On one side, laying down “my goals” for “Him” and then finding myself “making every possible mistake”. And I guess that’s why…
When we lay our plans on the altar and give them over to God, they are His and not ours. I’ll mess it up. You’ll mess it up. We try hard, but we can’t always get it right. However, when we give it all over to Him… He gets to do with it what He wants and we are just along for the ride.
Be encouraged. Keep running up those hills. Don’t give up when you make every possible mistake.
Because when He is first in our life, we can say this simple prayer… “God, you got me into this. Now You have to get me out.” And the great news is… If He wants you out, He’ll get you out. If not, sit back and enjoy because you are not having to endure it alone.
Much Love Guys!