Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stormy with a chance of Endurance

Have you thought about endurance? When I hear the word endurance I often think of athletes and how they endure tough physical training and the demands that puts on one’s body. But I think endurance is more of a life thing, it’s essential to every area of our lives-not just the physical part.
I was pondering this as I went for a long run today. I left the house under heavy, cloudy skies and the threat of rain. It didn’t take very long for those drops to start falling. Thankfully they never picked up enough to matter, but they made me think of the long runs that I have done in the rain. When running and caught in a storm I have two options, I can keep running or I can stop and wait it out. Stopping could put me in a place of shelter for awhile, but in all reality I’d still be getting wet and because I wasn’t running I would eventually get very cold. If I choose to keep going I’ll still get wet, but the body heat generated from running would keep me warmer than if I was standing still. And here’s a profound thought, as I keep running I will always get closer to home. Waiting and standing still won’t get me home, but to keep going and to put one foot in front of the other will always get me closer to my goal-a hot shower and dry clothes.
I’ve been thinking today of how that applies to our lives. So many times we embark on something that is good for us, that is fun and healthy and right and we experience deep trial in the midst of it. The storms of life don’t discriminate; they will come on all of us at one time or another, whether they come from poor choices, dumb luck, God’s attempts to refine us or the enemy’s attempts to derail us-they will come. When we encounter storms we have choices, do we keep going or do we stop and wait for better conditions? Do we choose endurance? Or do we give up?
2010 09 18_1060
Sometimes the best things in life are the toughest. We can start on in something amazing and find extreme difficulties right in the middle. Storms come in all sorts of good places; places like a marriage, a career, a friendship, parenthood, a volunteer position, a business start up, or anything else. When they come, we have a choice don’t we? We can keep going or give up. As I sit home now, warm and dry with my coffee and a cozy blanket I know that sometimes I’ve walked away from storms. I’ve run from doing the right thing simply because it’s tough. But then I also know I’ve missed the joy that comes from endurance in the midst of the storm. As a runner there is great satisfaction in persevering, in going far even though the conditions sucked. There is always peace in the storm, if I choose endurance and if I choose to shift my gaze away from the rain to one who allows the rain to fall.
I’m shifting my gaze today and want to remember to keep looking up, even when it’s tough.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (James 1:2-4)

5 comments:

  1. That's a great insight about stopping or getting closer to home. I love it when God confirms through others what He is speaking to me. This weekend I'd been reading in Colossians 1 -- ie verse 11 about strength and endurance WITH joy and the discernment needed in when to pray for deliverance and when to pray that I'd be strengthened with endurance and joy to get through the situation. I love just love God's Word!!!!

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  2. We so need endurance in this life all along the way from the one who "allows the rain to fall." Thanks for the reminder and confirmation to keep our eyes off of the rain and to the one who allows it to fall. BTW; ran my personal best this weekend while I was contemplating the rain in my life and the one who sends it...(: Have a great Monday!

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  3. Beautiful thoughts. I'm not a runner at this point, but I can certainly relate. I loved reading this - thank you.

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  4. Lovely thoughts. I think that it is true that when continuing to walk instead of asking for deliverance we are getting closer to home. Either through refinement of spirit when in trials or by realization that the difficult road we're on isn't a solo trip and that God is on that journey with us. Many times I think I confuse patience with endurance. I pray for patience when dealing with a situation until it's over as opposed to praying for endurance to make it through as well as the ability to reap the lessons that God is putting before me. Thanks for your post, puts some fresh perspective on something that I needed to think about.

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  5. I sooo 'GET' this, girl. I'm a runner too, and I've had many a storm in life to consider to either choose to endure or avoid. Good thoughts.

    Congrats on winning the fun prize at Nesting Place!! :)

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