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Getting Back Up Again

I watched the movie “The Hill” recently (on Netflix).  It’s a small part of the true life story of Ricky Hill - a baseball player who was determined to get into the major leagues.  As a child he wore braces on his legs due to a congenital/degenerative spinal condition. This caused him much pain throughout his young life but that didn't deter him from his dream. He was an incredible hitter and he did rise to the Minors, but for only four years until his spine’s condition rendered him unable to play any longer.  The story is about his tenacity and fortitude in the mission to do what he felt God wanted him to do -- play baseball.  The story doesn't go further into his life but it is recorded that he eventually became a pastor who still inspires people to persevere in what they're gifted to do.

True stories like this give me inspiration to press on toward whatever the future holds, and to get doing the things God has planned for me. 

Having said that, I know I’ve dropped the ball during these last few weeks.  I have felt aimless and lazy, and I’ve acted accordingly.  Do you ever give in to these sorts of feelings? I find myself hoping that I'm not alone, but I know many driven people who would not let themselves spiral into the almost vegetative state I've allowed myself to fall into this January.

So ... instead of merely watching inspirational movies, it's time for some "this is MY life" inspiration.

When I think of someone who was driven, I think of the Apostle Paul. His life story is amazing and some of the words he penned are my go-to verses when I feel down and draggy.

Paul experienced living in both poor and bountiful circumstances, but he learned to be content in whichever state he found himself, as recorded in Philippians 4:11&12. Then, in verse 13 he wrote: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (ESV) The fact that he wrote those verses when he was a prisoner, stuck inside a Roman jail, holds a lot of weight for me. I'm pretty sure those surroundings were far from comfortable.

Philippians 3:13b-14 are also favoured words of mine: "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching to those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (KJV)

Now that we can wave goodbye to the longest winter month (a month historically tough for me) I think it's exciting to anticipate Spring and everything that lies ahead.

To those of you who don't have any idea about the funk I'm writing about here, good for you! You're probably doing what you're supposed to do, so continue on.

But if you've ever reached a stall in your life, or if you're sitting in one now, know that you're not alone.

The great news is: we can start over, asking for forgiveness if needed, then putting what we've done (or not done) behind us and begin pursuing our mission again!

I don't know if you do this, but I'll write verses and inspiring words into my phone, or on a post-it note, that work to get me going. Right now those include:

Get up and get determined!

Determine to run YOUR race!

Determine to have a good attitude!

Determine to reach the goal God wants you to meet!

If you do relate to what I've written here, or if you don't, this encouragement is for everyone -- that we all hold fast and keep working toward God's important calling on our lives.




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