Saturday, December 24, 2011

Trial? Adventure? Obstactle Course? A Story!

Last night my daughter put on a movie called Australia. In it, Hugh Jackman says:

No one owns anything except their story, and I'm trying to live the best one I can.

Something like that, anyway.

If your health is not helping you live (and tell) a better story, then it can be better to be sick.

Leukemia's been an addition to my story. It hasn't taken away from it.

Someone told me the other day that I'm like the Eveready bunny. I just keep going no matter the ups and downs of this disease. That was a wonderful compliment. That's what I hope I'll do to the end.

I want to help you see this adventure in my life from my perspective. Hopefully, it will help you take on the adventures in your life and write a great story.

To me, I'm in the Lord's army. I'm one of those weak, pitiful soldiers raised in American luxury, unfamiliar with suffering, but I've been allowed in because the Lord is merciful. Despite my weakness, I have the same goal as the strong soldiers. We're advancing the kingdom, overthrowing the evil ruler of the darkness of this world, and proclaiming freedom to his captives.

Training to become fit for this purpose involves trials, just as all training involves trials. "No pain, no gain," as they say in the gym. If you want your muscles to become stronger or your skills to improve, you have to attempt things that stress your muscles and your skills.

So now I'm in the middle of an obstacle course. Obstacle courses vary. That's the nature of obstacle courses.

There are spots, like now, where I'm just jogging along in ease, moving towards the next obstacle. There are obstacles well within my skill level, and I climb right over and through those, looking like a trained athlete. There are other obstacles, though, that are really hard. On those, I struggle to get over the wall. I slip and fall; I look silly; and I only succeed after numerous attempts. Even after succeeding, I may wind up on my knees on the path, panting for breath.

So when something else happens, I don't say, "What? Another problem? How could this be?"

I say, "Of course there's another problem. That's the nature of obstacle courses. Someone put that obstacle there on purpose, and I agreed to run this obstacle course. The great Captain of our army knows my strength and skills better than I do, and he has put me on this obstacle course to run to the end."

So I don't want it to stop. I want to get to the end, and I even hope that I'll finish with a good time compared to others that have run this course. That's the nature of obstacle courses; they're competitive.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Dodging obstacles ruins the competition. I have to get through or over every one.

Picture this. A U.S. Marine runs an obstacle course, staggers across the finish line, then snaps to attention in front of his sergeant. His sergeant, secretly impressed at the time and performance of this marine, says, "Are you okay, private? You looked pitiful there at the end."

The marine replies in a loud, strong, firm voice, "Sir, I feel great. I'm ready to do it again, sir!"

How do you react? I suspect most of us are not only impressed, but something inside of us steels up and makes us want to be like him.

There's your course, right in front of you; specifically made for you! Don't skip any obstacles; look bad on the hard ones; look great on the easy ones; stagger to the end; and impress us all.

Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, for the trying of your faith produces patience. Let patience have its perfect work, so that you may achieve your goals and be complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Through [the Lord Jesus Christ] we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice as we hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we take pride in trials, too, knowing that trials produce patience, patience produces sterling character, and sterling character produces hope. And our hope does not disappoint because the love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. (Romans 5:2-5)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is really awesome! I want to run too!