I Had To Try. I Wanted To Win.

“You know me better than you think, you know, and you shall know me better yet.” —C.S. Lewis {Magician’s Nephew}

 

I was at work while listening to the book on tape that Mi Amor put onto my iPod. C.S. Lewis has always been in my readings, but lately I’m just so amazed by him; his works are of course, a reflection of his mind…how marvelous a mind it was…

This quote was stated by Aslan, the character that is a reflection of God. As the story was playing and I got to this part, I had to rewind it…then once more…then again…

I have long known of our Creator, His Son, and the Spirit that now dwells in me and these moments of quiet reflection deepen our relationship. Every good marriage sets aside time for one-on-one…it is the same with our Saviour.
I paused my story… “How is this statement true for me?” I thought.
“In my frustration and misery with my health condition//skin//digestive disorder//etc.. I have shouted at God {{WHERE ARE YOU}} and even though I KNOW HIM BETTER, I still, in the present moment are distraught at His parenting skills. And now, I KNOW HIM BETTER than last year. “

I’m training… just like when I used to run miles and miles every day, every week, month, season, year, to get myself in shape for racing. My earthly father pushed me, encouraged me, and supported me throughout the whole thing. When I hurt or wanted to throw up or began crying or was sick, he pushed me to keep going. This endurance built up in me… I began running hardest up hill. If there was a wind against me, I used it as motivation to try pushing harder.
Whether sleet, snow, rain, cold, or pure desert conditions, we ran.

I’ll never forget this one race where I was running side by side a girl for first place, we were both running harder than ever and keeping up the pace. As I hit the last hill of the course my dad was there… “Go, Sarah, push hard, you’re doing great!!!” I heard his voice out of all the others shouting… His words ran {{no pun intended}} through my head as my heart beat loud and my breath was clouding my brain. My legs were about to fall off and I was overheating, I was about to start crying ‘daddy, I can’t’ when I thought of my hard two mile run the previous week; I had impressed dad by ‘kicking it in’ a quarter mile from the end. I had kept up my faster gear the whole way till our finish. This came to my head and I repeated his words to myself, “Go, Sarah, push hard, you’re doing great…push hard, you’re doing great…push hard.”
So, half a mile from the finish I pushed harder than he cheered and ‘kicked it in’ right then. I passed my rival and blazed the trail. I crossed the finish line with my best time of the season. I fell to the ground crying just after that finish line… Dad came to me, handed me my medal and picked me up to my feet, “You gotta stand up, gotta keep walking” I just cried as I felt like one giant heat wave wiggling on the horizon.

After the race, about half an hour, when I was almost about to do my cool down run, dad came over to me, “How did you do that? What made you go?” {{I don’t remember his question exactly..}}  I just remember saying, “I had to try. I wanted to win.”

We know Him well now, but when we ‘kick it in’ we look back and we realize that we know Him better yet because of what we overcame with His help.

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Traveling Farther Along The Way

Bizarre, wild, unbelievable;
I’m back in Grand Rapids.

I had my interview with The Heart of the City this morning,
I felt comfortable and confident.
Truly, honestly, undoubtedly;
God is working.

The same computer system that this pharmacy uses, is the same one that I currently use at my job.
{(and it’s not that common)}
I have many qualities that would fit this pharmacy and their ministry.
I feel great with this pharmacist, he seems like a really neat guy with goals that are exceptional.
But, also, the lining up of living arrangements seems to be improving or at least changing in an unexpected direction.

The coolest thing about this is that whatever I have learned from Panama, Alaska, summer trips, high school, home, trips, and various experiences, will play into this job. 
Amazing how our “Berry Blend” of exposures and situations in the life past helps others and ourselves in the future.

~~~ 

A hiker was on a trail, carrying two packs-one which was empty, the other full of an extra pair of boots and clothes, a towel, water bottle, and sleeper roll.
In exhaustion, she stopped at a clearing to rest, after a tense and horrendous trial.

While she was sleeping, a young man, with a jaw-wrenching cut on his arm bitterly sat down on the opposite side of the clearing.
When the woman awoke, she felt exhilarated.
Seeing the man she walked over with her packs.
He ignored the coming footsteps and clenched his mouth tightly in pain.
“Hello, my name is Pim,” she introduced.
Avoiding her, he complained about the hike and how leaving his comfort zone was the worst thing he could’ve done.
Pim chimed in, “I know its hard, I just went through thorns and trenches, crevices and wall-climbing, roots and snakes. I can’t stop now though, I’ve already started and can’t go back, I have to make it to the bridge, then I can cross and go over to Paradise.”
“But its the hike gets harder and harder as you continue on the path”
She nodded and simultaneously gasped as she noticed his arm, “You’re hurt!!!”
Grabbing her pack she pulled out a first aid kit and began to clean the wound.
“Why are you helping me? Go away.”
“I’m here to be your sister, I’m all you have right now.”
In bitterness and ignorance of her he ranted, “I don’t understand why they don’t have guides on these trails, so that if you get hurt, you can be taken care of properly. I don’t have anybody, what if I die because of this? I can’t go through that again, and if the Way gets harder and harder, what chance do I have?”
attaching the last piece of tape, Pim asked, “Does that feel better?”
“Yes, it hurt like a drop of Hell to get cleaned though.”
She took the towel from her bag and set it down with the water bottle. She unlaced his shoes and took off his worn, hole-filled socks.
“Stop it! I don’t need you! I can do this myself.”
“Let me help you,” she said sweetly, while pouring some water on the towel and wiping the dust from his bloody blistered feet.
He tried to shrug away, but he hurt so badly and the water was so refreshing.
He kept muttering and grumbling about how hard the Way to the clearing was as Pim continued to put on her extra pair of socks and boots on his feet.
She wrapped her head scarf around his neck to use as a sling for his hurt arm.
“Why do you have all this stuff?”
“For you.”
“Well, you obviously don’t know me and are most definitely not my sister.”
“You can’t un-label me something that I already have labeled myself. No matter what you call it, the point is I’m your sister and I can do nothing but be that. Whether I am a good one or not, that can differ.”
He thought and hugged his stomach.
“OH! You must be starved…” she pulled out her only protein bar for the day and unwrapped it for him.
“I don’t want your food,” he retorted bitterly.
“Leave your pride in the dust down the Way you’ve already traveled. You are pale and need nutrition. If you can make it down that way, there’s a church that will tend to your needs. But, first you must eat to regain your strength.”
He grabbed the bar and wolfed it down.
Shoving the extra pair of clothes and sleeping pack in with the water bottle, she attached the other hiking pack onto his back as he stood up.
“I still don’t understand, why did you do this for me? Why do you have this stuff with you? Who are you?”
Pim smiled and put her hand on his unhurt shoulder, “I am your sister, climbing the same mountain you are, just on a different path. I have extras because my Guide provided me with them, telling me to share them with you. Even though hiking the Way is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I feel fulfilled when I make it over a mountain like that one, even if I know another is coming. I can take all that I’ve learned from Mount Lugang and apply it to Mount Pagpapayo. Its the continuous cycle of learning and improving. Most importantly, walking the Way goes hand in hand with listening and having connection; knowing the Guide.”

De-stressers

Running a few miles on a rainy day is one of the best ways to release my stress.
Yesterday was a hard learning experience at work; I am being stripped of everything: pride, speech, my real self.
I have to be considerate, and in the process, I’m putting on a mask of happiness. When I do something wrong, even if I catch it, I will be corrected and unable to state my case.
I feel as though being a cashier is all a show for me;
I act happy
I act like everything is alright
And I pretend I’m busy when I have no customers…
Let’s just say, the reason I ran, was because work motivated me to.
I am most definitely looking forward to finally being in the Pharmacy!!! 

After my run, I went to worship practice.
THANK GOD FOR FRIENDS!
My spirits were immediately uplifted by our prayer and music.
Worshipping God with really awesome people just boosts the atmosphere!

I think that the crew that makes up the worship band is so amazing that yesterday, I hardly wanted to leave.
I love them all so much; these brothers and sisters in Christ have a big place in my heart–
a BIG BIG place.

We went out to eat after practice and talked about “Crazy Love”
.uplifiting.
.pure refreshment.
.my opportunity to shine at work will be through my attitude and actions.
.this stressful time is no exception.


I was very respectful at work and then broke down when I got to my car,
but thank God for Christian radio stations,
distance runs in the rain,
worship bands,
and friends.
AMEN