Monday, January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010 - Looking Ahead

Well we have begun a new year and most made some resolutions of how they would “play the game” this year. Maybe you didn’t write them down but you probably at least made decisions in your mind. And the brutal fact is this: most have already blown their resolutions.

It is very common for a team or player to come out sluggish in a game and then get going strong. I’d like to encourage you to stick with the “game plan”, even if you have started out sluggish (or maybe not even started at all.)

I think of my dear friend Jim Pentalow. He is older than I am but in much, much better shape. He began running years ago. Now at the age of 59 he just completed a half-marathon (13 miles) that he ran as a fundraiser for our ministry. (He trained for a full marathon but had to withdraw due to a family emergency.) Jim did not just decide one day to run marathons and head out the door for a 15 or 20 mile jog. There was a process of building up to it – of training specifically for it. There was a process that involved a daily commitment to lace up the sneakers and run, even through some pain and adversity.

I think of the commands in Scripture and how the terminology often indicates this idea of commitment, even through some pain and adversity. Proverbs 4 discusses the idea of acquiring wisdom and instruction. In other words it gives a good “game plan” for living smart. I love the strong word pictures that are given. Here are a few from the New American Standard Bible:

“Do not abandon…”
“Hold fast…”
“Take hold…”
“Do not let go…”

Aren’t those strong words? They are words of commitment. They are words of strength. They are words of being resolute! In honor of my friend Jim I want to leave you this week with the following instruction from Proverbs 4. As you begin this race of 2010:

25Let your eyes look directly ahead and let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. 26Watch the path of your feet and all your ways will be established. 27Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil.

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