Monday, August 17, 2015

The Finish Line

Have you ever had to run the hurdles? Hurdlers are a special breed that can run fast and kick their legs high over 27-42 inch obstacles, take two steps and do it all again!

I had to try those beastly obstructions in my freshman P.E. class in high school. It was a disaster. I stand only 61.5" tall and the hurdles were chest high on me if I remember correctly. After trying multiple times to get my leg high enough to get over the hurdle without success and being bruised and scraped up from falling all over those mini mountains, I decided not to try any more. I simply stopped in front of them and trotted around. Coach finally decided that I could just run the lap without going over the hurdle. The experience makes me stand in admiration for hurdlers now when I watch track and field on tv.

Life has hurdles. Every day we come against obstacles, big and small. Each goal we set for ourselves comes with its set of circumstances that can trip us up with bruises and scrapes or offer opportunities to soar. There are choices to make when we come up against those pesky bumps in the road. We can get around some, but others need to be dealt with more aggressively. When we fly over them we feel powerful and in control. Some that tower over us may make us consider giving up. Any hardship can intimidates us into backing down and question if our goal to reach the finish line is worth it.

I know there have been many finish lines that I have failed to cross because of the stumbling blocks in my way. At those times I have felt weak. My goal has not been met. I got stuck. I failed. It is sad to know that I may never have an opportunity to win because the moment has passed. Realizing this makes me consider carefully the goals I set and the importance of committing myself fully to the task.

One of my favorite sayings is "I chase not race." The chase, unlike a race, gives me time to face my mountainous hurdles and break them down so I can proceed further toward the finish line. I do not need to race against others. I just need to keep chasing the goal I have set for myself.

The most important thing I need to remember is that God is always there to help me get past the obstacles. He is just a prayer away. Isaiah 41:13 says, "For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." NIV We can trust His strength, His faithfulness and His love for us to get us through.

My Most Powerful God and Father, You know the trials I face today. They seem to want to trip me up and make me fail in my quest to do Your will. I want to reach the goal of pleasing You, but so often i fail to push through when it gets difficult. Forgive me Lord. Thank You for Your grace and mercy when I fall. Thank You for lifting me up in Your Fatherly hands. Give me wisdom in dealing with the hurdles I need to overcome. Give me Your Spirit to empower me to make it to the end. I want to hear the words "Well Done!"
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