Posted tagged ‘staying the course’

From Here To There

June 15, 2018

In my quest to run 200 miles by mid-August I’m in the midst of it! One third of the way in and making “significant strides”, so to speak! It is the point of commitment…either stay the course or convince oneself of the lunacy of continuing to go forward. It’s the in-between…the “Kansas”, if you will, of decision roads. Getting from here to there is the challenge that often derails the pursuits of life.

In regards to my running, I’ve noticed that I encounter several quitting points each day in the journey. I question why I’m doing what I’m doing and plant seeds of doubts into the pace every time a stiff head wind offers more resistance to the effort. The quitting points never happen at the beginning or towards the end. They always invade my thoughts in the midst of the run, that tipping point where I’m the most vulnerable.

“Staying the course” is not something our culture is passionate about these days. We are addicted to the better deal and prone to give up because that’s the easier road to take. These days people are not convinced that perseverance has value and that resolve is a great quality to have.

When we’re between the here and the there retreat gains a following…or whining! I see it with a lot of children and youth these days. In the midst of the school assignments the student’s whining begins with a great sense of injustice…and the parent takes up the cause in support of their child’s lack of staying the course.

Getting to “there” was never meant to be a comfortable experience that demanded nothing. I’m getting “there”! Slowly, but I’m getting there!

The Perseverance of Integrity

April 24, 2018

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                        April 24, 2018

                           

“…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 1:3-4)

Yesterday I was talking to a man who I’ve known for a number of years, coached with, and felt honored that he refers to me as his friend. He recently had resigned his head coaching position, and it is still a painful time for him. His wins-losses record had not been stellar, and the decision to resign came after his administration had voiced their disgruntlement.

After we had talked for some time I looked at him and I said, “Coach, I have the greatest respect for you, always have! In the midst of adversity your integrity has persevered. You could have done things outside of the rules and perhaps, because of that, won a few more games, but you chose the way of integrity.”

He thanked me. My heart went out to him, because the coaching ranks has lost one of the people you want your kids to be influenced by. Sometimes, however, integrity must persevere through rough waters. It’s in the midst of the rolling waves that many people lose their way and become uprooted from the positive values and morals that get preached, but then forgotten.

We all make judgment errors and fall short. The difference is that many people choose the way that is suspect as their main life route instead of a momentary mistaken by-pass.

Its interesting that I have even more respect now for my hurting friend. He took the hits but stayed the course. He is one of the good guys in the sports world that we know is heavily populated with people who sacrifice integrity in order to worship the god of winning.

The Challenge of Staying the Course

August 23, 2015

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                       August 23, 2015

                                       

Ten years ago I was running the Pike’s Peak Ascent, a 13.2 mile race for insane people. My wife called to it as “The Death Race.” She wasn’t too far off! The only people more loco than Ascent-ers were the ones who ran the Pike’s Peak Marathon the next day, a 26.2 mile race to the top of the mountain and back down again.

Okay…there is one group even more loco! Those who run the Ascent on Saturday and then the Marathon on Sunday. Crazy and whacked!

The hardest parts of the Ascent race for me were Mile Two and Mile Nine. Mile Two because the adrenalin of the start had worn off and I was suddenly doing some “serious uphill running.” Mile Nine because I was beginning to be physically depleted but I knew I had four miles yet to go…uphill!

The urge to stop and recognize the reasonableness of my actions increased as the race went on. My goal was not to win. My goal was to finish! As the elevation got higher I considered revising my goal to simply surviving.

Sometimes it is hard to stay the course…not just in a race for insane people, but also some of the insane times of life we have to run through.

The church I pastor seems to be having an increasing number of building challenges. A roof leak into our nursery area, despite a new roof being put on two years ago, and now the frustration of trying to get the roofer to come and fix it! A drywall problem as a ripple effect of that. Other things that are wearing out, like carpet and light fixtures.

It seems that each week is filled with new challenges that give reason to step to the side, to surrender to the mountain!

Hebrews 12:2-3 has taken on new meaning for me, and a new thankfulness for Jesus. It reads “Let is fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

That keeps me going!