“We’re not in a race, we are running a marathon and the important thing is that we FINISH.” My husband says that about our business – he didn’t originate the quote but it sure is a good one.
In one form or other we are all running a marathon, the marathon of life. Some of us have distinct goals. Some of us are living our lives the best we know, raising kids, keeping up with laundry, planning meals, and just getting through each day with our minds intact and our bodies nourished. I remember being a busy mom of three, every day felt like a race, with no end in sight. Then our home dwindled to one and the goal was to get him through school and instill as many Godly principles as possible in every teenage moment we had together – I called it Life 101 lessons. Then, the race ends and the house is quiet, the nest is empty and all the ‘birdies’ have fledged. But, in reality, the marathon isn’t over, a new lap begins – and each season of life is just that, a new lap.
I’ve never seen a race track with short-cuts. Personally speaking, on my marathon, I’ve taken quite a few turns. I’ve left the marked track and forged out on my own and every single time it got me in trouble. I leaned toward the easy-way, the short-cut.
Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time.
Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention. Matthew 7.13-14 (MSG)
Today, I want to get back on track. For me, that means doing a spiritual inventory. So, here goes:
[ ] Love
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6.5
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. Galatians 5.13
[ ] Joy
Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8.10
[ ] Peace
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16.33
[ ] Hope
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15.13
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil… Hebrews 6.19
[ ] Trust
And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You. Psalm 9.10
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3.5-6
[ ] Mercy
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” Lamentations 3.22-24
[ ] Faith
Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Have faith in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God. Psalm 42.11
[ ] Selflessness
Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2.4
[ ] Patience
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6.9
[ ] Humility
Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2.3-4
[ ] Gentleness
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect… 1 Peter 3.15
[ ] Self-control
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 1 Peter 4.7
I’m leaving the check marks off, because maybe you’ll want to take inventory too. I want to get back to basics, get back on track and I have to begin with the heart of the matter, and that is my relationship with the Lord – when that isn’t right nothing else works for me. He is my Standard. He is my Guide. He is my Director. In other words, He is my Everything and I need to get back to realizing and living like, it’s all about Him.
How about you?
Maybe you’ll enjoy listening to this beautiful Matt Redman song.
Post Script: So grateful for awesome online research tools such as Bible Gateway!