Don’t Give Up!

This week while having the joy of watching my 10 ½ month old grandson, Tristan, I got to witness his “don’t give up attitude”. We have a playpen he spends some of his time in and the past couple weeks he has desperately wanted to pull himself up on the rails and stand. He has done this at his home already, but this environment is a bit higher than he is used to. On Monday I could see the determination in his face to reach the peak of his Mt. Everest—he focused, he adapted when a technique didn’t work, he persisted, and finally he was up and had a look of pure joy and excitement!

Some of you know one of my “hobbies” is running. I like it because it is a healthy activity and I especially like race days because of the comradery I feel even with strangers—we are all going to be hurting together! This week I began training for the October Kansas City Marathon after taking a few weeks off to let some body parts heal. I still think it is a good strategy, but I was basically starting all over. It has been tough and throw in some high-humidity and at times it has been brutal. But I have a secret weapon now, when I’m really hurting and thinking about quitting, I can picture Tristan popping up and looking at me over that rail and his look of exuberance from achieving a goal. My what we can learn from a baby!

Crossing the finish line for any distance, let alone a marathon, is a challenge no matter how much you have trained and prepared—there are many unexpected things that you will encounter over the course of 26.2 miles. I have found the same to be true in life. Even as a follower of Jesus Christ it seems there are roadblocks most every day. But I have learned to keep my eye on the finish line. I love how Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7 that, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” My desire is when it is time for me to leave this life that I can honestly say that and perhaps even more importantly that those who know me can say that about me.

In October I will cross that finish line in downtown Kansas City and will do it with the joy and excitement of a 10 ½ year old; and when the day comes I will with bow before the throne with the joy and excitement of a 10 ½ year old.

Going

We had the blessing and privilege of hosting two young people in our home this week. They are the son and daughter-in-law of a dear friend who I had the honor of serving with in the Air Force. The last time I saw him, he was a young boy and I never had met her. Who I spent time with this week was an awesome young man and woman who were married less than a month ago who are on fire for Jesus Christ!

I was not sure of the purpose of their trip to Colorado when asked if they could stay with us overnight, and it did not matter. Our friends and their families are always welcome in our home. I thought this was perhaps part of a honeymoon trip. After visiting with them I understood they were headed to Colorado for training with Cru ministries. Their part with Cru is dedicated to bringing the Gospel to college campuses. To learn more, I encourage you to go to www.Cru.org.

What impressed me was the passion I saw as I was talking with two bright, intelligent, talented, gifted people who have the world before them. They are “millennials” who by stereotype should be setting out on a plan for themselves without much concern for others. By the way, please let’s stop the stereotypes by a person’s generation—there are positive and negative examples in each of them—let’s decide about each individual based on their character and actions.

These two people have committed their lives to serving Jesus and are bold about it. They are taking the Gospel to a tough battle ground—the college campus. They are doing it without hesitation, they are doing it in obedience to their calling. They are echoing the words of Isaiah 6:8, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” The I said, “Here am I. Send me!””

I have too said “Send me!” to the Lord, but I have also said “No thanks” or “Not yet.” God is not looking for part-time followers and servants—He asks us to be all in! I am striving to be one that always says “Send me!” even when I do not understand the calling.