“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, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12: 1 – 2
When I was describing this week to Mark the other day I made use of that old metaphor of mountain tops and valleys. Monday night was a real mountain top for me, a time encounter with God and celebration. Much of the rest of the week has felt a lot more valley-like. Everyone in our house has been pretty tired, and so we’ve been trying really hard to keep patient and grace-filled with each other. The high-pollen count has not helped and for the last few days I’ve felt bunged up and grotty – as any of you who have seen me this week will attest.
I’m not telling you this to get sympathy, but rather to illustrate a point – it’s just how life is. We have really great moments, and then almost straight after them we have tough times. How do we keep consistency as disciples during both, and in the every-day moments in between? The answer is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus! Sometimes we can get too distracted by what is going on personally, or by things not quite working out as we hope they would. This is a primary tactic of our enemy – to get us to stop looking at the one who provides for all our needs and to get us looking at ourselves so that we lose momentum.
Remember that you are tired.
Kairos Vision Team met earlier this week, as we regularly do, to pray together and discuss what God is saying to us, and how as a church we might respond to it. As we were praying I felt the holy spirit’s prompting and the phrase “Remember that you are tired” popped into my head. Our most creative solutions and faith-filled responses to challenges never happen when we’re tired or worn down do they. They come when we are rested. So lets be disciplined about going to God this summer for rest.
You cannot bear the weight of this calling.
One paragraph from my ordination service on Sunday particularly struck me:
“You cannot bear the weight of this calling in your own strength, but only by the grace and power of God. Pray therefore that your heart may daily be enlarged and your understanding of the Scriptures enlightened. Pray earnestly for the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
This isn’t just true for those of us who happen to be “professionals” is it? None of us match up to the call of God to be disciples who make disciples. All of us need to remember this, and go to the one who enlarges our hearts and enlightens our minds. I’ve been reminded a few times this week that this is a discipline that we need to practice at least once every 24 hours – that is why daily prayer is such an important habit.
Lots of us are going to be enjoying some sporting excellence this weekend! As we enjoy the Tour de France lets remind ourselves to run with perseverance the race marked out for us, and to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Have a great weekend!
MSC Leaders Celebration BBQ
We will be gathering at the Carey’s house on Wednesday 16th July, 7:30pm to celebrate all that God has done this year. There will be lots of great food and we want you to be there! Please can you let Rachel know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are coming. Thanks.