Maintaining Focus


Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

~Hebrews 12:1-2, NLT


One of the marks of Christian maturity is the calm assurance that God is in control, without the need to understand exactly what He is doing.

~Charles Swindoll

Mylee ran cross country this fall and the entire family enjoyed watching Mylee run. I ran two years of cross country in college and we never had one fan to show up and cheer us on but High School cross country is different, there are hundreds of fans at each meet. Matter of fact, I don’t think we went to a single run where there was less than a thousand and at the Jesse Owens regional meet, there was over 10,000. In terms of fans, it is bigger than any other high school sport. A big part of cross country is mental. You have to stay focused and you have to run through pain. You cannot give in to the flesh. You cannot quit just because your side is aching or your feet burning. Life is like a race, not a sprint but a cross country event; we must run with endurance the race {course} set before us and we do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus.

God Himself lays out our course and no two people run the same route. There are always difficulties along the way. There are hills that are hard to climb and some times the wind is in your face. Joseph’s course was very difficult and so was Job’s. I do not envy either man. Joseph faced set back after set back: first he is betrayed by his brothers and in one day’s time, he lost his family and his freedom. Then he is falsely accused and thrown in prison. Job is hit with tragedy after tragedy: he loses all his children, much of his wealth and even his health. He went from being loved and admired to despised and rejected. His wife was a witch and his best friends were condescending egotist who had all the answers but very little sympathy. Yet through it all, Job maintained his integrity. How did these men succeed? They remained focused on the sovereignty of GOD. In Genesis 50:20, Joseph tells his brothers, You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Job said in 42:2, “I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop you.” We must stay focused on the DIVINE CONSPIRACY: God has conspired to overcome evil with good via human history and it will do this progressively or incrementally, not in an instant. As Carol says, “God has got this.” Always keep the end in mind.

Running late today. Holly and June left for Vandy early so I had to take the kids to school and deal with that unbelievable traffic {for Danville}. Who would have ever thought that Danville would have a traffic problem. Don’t try to drive through Danville at 7:30 am during school. It will take awhile. I got behind a woman this morning that needed a clear mile to merge out into the traffic. I thought I was going to have to go get the deputy to give her a personal escort. When there is an opening, gun it! I was tempted to go to her window and say, “Lady, I have a 15 year old in my car who can drive better than you. Do you want me to let her drive you?” 

June, alias Big Mama, has two test that she has to pass today: [1] Bone density and [2] Covid. So that is the first thing I need you to pray about. If she passes these two, we go back tonight and the surgery will be in the morning. She has her heart set on this surgery so pray that all goes well. The stress has been building but Hannah and the grand girls came over last night and decorated the house for Christmas and that got her mind off the surgery for a little while.

Also Anthony Patterson, former pastor of Gum Springs is having a critical surgery today. It is actually a high risk surgery. He is probably in surgery at the moment.

P.S. Just talked to Nancy, Joyce Chaney is at home and doing well. She has a setter and everything has went well so far. She would probably love a visit if you have time.

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