Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting Back on your Feet after Failure

It is never easy to get back on your feet when you have fallen flat on your face. Taking a tumble in life hurts whether it is with a face plant on a cross country trail or when you fail miserably in your life. When you fail personally, and let others down, you find grit and gravel embedded in your heart, rather than on your hands and face. Running the race of life is an individual quest. We are all called to it, cannot escape the reality of it, and somewhere along the way, we will fall down more times than we care to count. 

When a runner prepares for a meet, there is rigorous training, and conditioning. Breaking the tape at the finish line does not happen unless you take running seriously, and are prepared for the tough challenges that will impact your body. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth about taking their faith to the next level of responsible accountability, and used the illustration of a runner competing in a race.


"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. “  1 Corinthians 9:23-25


As we run along the track of life we all discover that the older we get, the more traits and physical characteristics we display that resemble our parents. Even though we may chaff at that reality there is a DNA result of a progressive transformation on the outside, so that others who knew our parents might say, “You are getting to look more and more like….” Kind of scary. 

Unlike Forest Gump, who wasn’t sure why he was running across America, running the race of life has to do with a personal participation with God’s call upon one’s life. We are to become transformed progressively within, so that our lives mirror the character of Jesus Christ.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:1-2

The Greek word Paul uses for  transformed ismetamorphoo (met-am-or-fo'-o). It 
literally it means, "to change into another form" (Vine's), like when a caterpillar goes through a metamorphosis and changes into a butterfly. 

God calls us to a kind of internal spiritual metamorphosis. We are to become transformed into Christ's image from the moment that we receive redemption through His death on the cross for our sins, to our last gasp of breath (See Romans 12:1-2; II Cor. 5:17-21). The longer we have known the Lord, more like Him we are to become.

Paul understood the cost of becoming a spiritual runner and he wanted to make it clear that it is a lifetime marathon, not a 100 yard sprint.

“…but one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 3:13-14

It is devastating to fail in the race of life, especially when you know better and in the falling, you find it so much harder to get back in the race.

To the spiritual runners across the world….

One’s life is but a whisper of breath; an echo of eternity. It is but a glimpse of time, for life is a tapestry. Our days are full of memories; raindrops colored gray, Sunshine’s rainbow after the storm into a brighter day.

Our new dawn needs strength to weather the storm. So wait on bended knee again, to yet renew within, the kiss of God upon the soul, a purpose to conform. Our will is what we must yield, the prize it is for Him.

The past may be your prison, and bound up you may be. God's healing truly can set you free from painful memories. Stop the fleeting race of life...hush the breathless pace,
pause and gain new strength within The Quiet Place...

Weary from the stress of life, and you cannot carry on? Never quit the race of life, with courage meet the dawn. Kneel within The Quiet Place for you must set your will; whisper to your heart  today, "My soul, do hush, be still."

When you fall yet again, and believe you cannot win,  every bruise tells the story that you must begin again. Heartaches of the past are mere shadows of yesterday. Only you can stand again and press on all the way.

Failure casts a shadow not what is yet to be. You have not finished the race, on ahead is the victory. Run with the imperfect clay, flawed we struggle on; It’s upon the Potter's Wheel, His image then is shown.

We need God's strength for the burdens within, why  try to carry burdens only meant to lead to Him?  Jesus speaks to your heart and  also through His Word; Run the race before you, your prayers are always heard.

Begin again, to run your race do not quit because of fear; just grasp the dream once again, for He is always near. Break out of your comfort zone, and risk by pressing on; do not lose another day before the days are fully gone.

The road is full of trials, new storms hit us every day, we  only grow in faith, with tough times along the way. So you must never give up, and you must not give in, Rest in The Quiet Place with God, new life will flow within.

The footprints in the sands of life are when He carried you. On the pathway to the cross He kept your life in view. As you run the race of life, determine you must Go on. Rise up with the wings of an eagle, and fly into your new dawn.

“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power.
Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”   Isaiah 40:29-31