Encouragement during the race

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds

Hebrews 10:22-24

In my last post, I pointed to this scripture and indicated that “how we may spur one another on” was something that God was really pointing to in my purpose going forward. I had no idea that He’d start convicting me to move on that this morning. I am so glad He did.

Last night, a friend asked how our son did in the 5k over the weekend. I told her that he finished and I was so proud of him, but I was really proud of my husband. He is, what I like to call, a competitive jerk. We both are. When there is a competition between hubby and I (cards, video games, volleyball, marksmanship…you name it) we are…well…boisterous about it. Hubby had been training for this 5k and was looking forward to knocking time off of his last race. Competing against himself. When our son decided that he would run with his Dad, they were both excited.They had already talked about the possibility of getting separated during the race and had a game plan to meet up at the finish line. It was all mapped out- so we thought.

At one point in the race, our son decided to turn back and look for me. I was walking with the dog and his sister near the back of the pack. What he didn’t realize was that his sister’s little legs had worn out early (and the dog saw a rabbit that nearly resulted in shoulder dislocation) and she asked if we could turn back for water. I had given her a pat on the back for her effort and we set some training goals for next time. When my son couldn’t find us he turned and started running with the pack again. Because he had turned around and doubled back, he had run further than most and became tired. When my hubby happened upon him, he was walking and looking for a shady place to rest. Hubby stopped to encourage him. He noticed that our little runner had a shoe untied, so he helped him tie it tight. Then, he sat with him on the curb for a moment of chalk talk. They continued the race together at a slower pace and at one point my son ended up riding piggy back. They both crossed the finish line together. WOW! For those who know my hubby- you know how difficult this must have been for him. When I was telling the story last night- I imagined that he had some teeth grinding and some muffled frustration and it definitely went against everything in his nature to stop his race to walk with our son.

…in HIS nature.

It definitely wasn’t his nature that caused him to stop and spur our son on and offer encouragement. It was God’s nature. I am so very proud of my husband for the sacrifice he made to encourage our son. He threw his goal, race time, competitive nature and himself out the window and focused on that boy. What a wonderful picture.

wpid-20140603_080935.jpgThis morning, when I woke up our son was sitting in the living room watching TV. He is an early riser and always has been. He had already made his bed, ate breakfast, packed his lunch and his uniform was on…he was ready to roll. As I saw him sitting there- a nudge from the Spirit. “Consider how we may spur one another toward love and good deeds.” But, not just love and good deeds…toward God himself. I asked him to turn off the TV and come to the table with me. I start my day with prayer and scripture. When he became a Christian in September, he did a morning devotional as well. While he still prays for his classmates in the morning, he has let his devotional book gather a little dust. When I opened the page to where he had left off, the lesson was  this “If you fall, Get back up”. Ok, thanks for the nudge God.

As I sat there with him, reading- I began to tell the story of how I learned to ride my bike. When I was young, I liked to ride my bike up and down the step on the side of our home. One day, one of my plastic training wheels cracked in half. I never went back to that bike. Later…much later, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to learn to ride a bike before my son. Yes, 30 years later at the age of 34- I finally learned how to ride a bike. My son never knew that about me. So I continued….

When I was 11 I became a Christian. I studied my Bible in church, in youth group, on mission trips and retreats. We were always very active at church and in serving others, but all of my “study” consisted of what I was fed by teachers and leaders. When I went away to college- ALONE- It didn’t take long for the slide…the slow fade to begin. I never got off of the baby food.

in fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

Hebrews 5:12-14wpid-20140603_070841.jpg

I shared with him my shame. It was 18 years before I had my Josiah moment. I returned to the Lord and was brought to my knees. How in the world did I get that far from Him? From the truth? Outside of His will for me? That little boy could see the urgency in my eyes and hear it in my tone as I told him, “Don’t rely on what you are taught in class. You have to spend time with God alone- daily. When you are saved and have that blessed assurance it’s time to RUN…not walk…not sit.”

It’s time to get back in the race.

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