I recently read that great verse in Proverbs 24 which states, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:…” One of the thoughts that my wife and I strive to ingrain in our children is that of not giving up.
Our two youngest boys have been playing baseball this summer. Due to the generosity of some people at our church, they are able to play in a summer league for most of the summer. Although our boys have never played baseball in a team setting and are learning many fundamentals of the game, one thing they have been learning all of their life is to not give up. Whether it be in a wrestling match, a baseball game, or that of the most challenging class they are taking at school, I want them to learn to give it their all right through to the end. So many young people today will not run as hard as they can to first base when they hit the ball to the pitcher – they give up. Too many young people when falling behind in a certain class or in a certain grade – they give up.
We were challenged to run a 5K by Automattic (owner of WordPress.com) several weeks ago. Since February, my wife and I have been running 2-3 times a week as we prepare for a 10k in early June. Although we are both athletic and play sports here & there, we have never consistently tried “running” as a sport.
Running has become a real joy to the both of us. We enjoy being together, getting in shape together, and the sense of accomplishment when done running. We have been running anywhere from 1 to 5 miles when we go out and usually run Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
This past Tuesday, we officially ran the 5k that would count for Automattic’s challenge. We ran it at Stephens Park in Schererville, Indiana and ran it in a time of 28 minutes. That is an average of 9 minutes, 20 seconds a mile – not bad for our first official 5K!
Nobody that I know of likes trials. And when I speak of trials, I am not particularly referring to that which happens in a court of law (although it could be). I am speaking of any type of situation that “tries” you. Yes – you are put on trial and examined to see if you pass the test. As I pondered trials in my own life, I decided to look up the definition of the word ‘trial’ in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language. The definition helps us to learn exactly what a trial is…
TRI’AL [from try.] Any effort or exertion of strength for the purpose of ascertaining its effect, or what can be done.
1. Examination by a test; experiment; as in chemistry and metallurgy.
In Spirit, Soul, & Body – part 1, we looked at the idea of balance and order. Balanced lives are what many of us strive for. And although that is the goal many of us have, we don’t even know (or realize) that we are triune beings. That is, we are comprised of spirit, soul, and body (see part 1 in this series). Without that knowledge, we lead imbalanced and far too often, frustrated lives.
Let’s again look at the key verse in the Bible that lays out the triune makeup of mankind:
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Thessalonians 5:23
Now, remember how I stated at the start of the series how important order is? It is just as important in this verse. God states everything with a purpose and HOW He states it is with a purpose. Spirit…soul…body – this order shows me an order of importance.
Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, “Does that mean my body is not important?” No, that is not what I am saying at all; what I am saying though is that as we strive to be blameless in these areas, we ought to be balanced in the order God has placed emphasis on.
One thing that we humans struggle to attain is a balance in life. All too often, we tilt way too much in one direction. And because of this, it throws us off – we are not able to move along in our life the way God intended for us to move along. We move along like a bicycle that has a bent tire…it circles fine until that part of the tire has to come around and go through the bike forks. There is a constant “thump, thump, thump” as the bent part hits the forks. Why is that? Because the tire is out of balance…it is bent in an area. And when we are out of balance, our entire life, yea, our spirituality continues to go thump, thump, thump!
May I submit to you an image? It is probably an image you are quite familiar with. It is part of the world-renowned drawing by Leonardo da Vinci called the Vitruvian Man.
It was reportedly drawn in the year 1487. The drawing and text are sometimes called the Canon of Proportions or, less often, Proportions of Man.
I like to read. In matter of fact, I really enjoy reading. That did not happen by accident. There are several factors that led to my enjoyment of reading. First, my parents put me in a good school where I learned to read at an early age. Second, they supplied me with books that were fun to read for a young boy. Books like the Hardy Boys, The Call of the Wild, Irish Red, and Big Red were just a few of the types of books that were given to me. In addition, my Pops (some of you call him dad…I call him Pa or Pops) provided me with exciting missionary stories that piqued my interest about spiritual adventure in far away lands.
The subject of reading reminds me of the first quality Bible that my parents gave to me on my 14th birthday. The Bible was a leather, Scofield Reference edition. Inscribed on the front cover was I Timothy 4:13, “Til I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.”
There is something special about mornings…okay, maybe not mornings in general, but “morning time.” What am I saying? Morning time is the best time to set the course for one’s day. It is no secret that the most successful people (in any endeavor) are people who are up early and spending time on important issues early in their day (See recent story on Business Insider).
Now, when I say “morning time,” I am not referring to a specific time of the day. I am referring to the first part of your day. For thousands of years, “morning time” was traditionally the early part of the morning. With the advent of the incandescent bulb, many people have had their schedules changed drastically. If you work a third shift, your “morning time” would be the first time of your day whenever you wake up.