Raw Reflections from the Journey

Thursday, January 6, 2011

An Ode to Laura (Beth)

Her life almost wasn't. Her mother badly wanted a third child, but her father doubted if he had enough love and could "earn" enough provisions to nurture her. The mother persuaded the father. A night of passion ensued. A child was born.

Laura is a remarkable soul; tender and compassionate, she is a tenacious and gracious friend and sister.

What motivated my writing? I'm listening to the music of this lovely young lady. She is tenderly tickling the ivories to express the tender and creative nuances of her soul...and her papa is crying.

A remarkable talent is now thriving in this world to bless, inspire and encourage just as her PAPA ordained.

Laura, as we discussed before your first choir solo this past Christmas: You have been given a special gift by your Maker to bless, inspire and exhort others. May you nurture and express all that He has put into you, and as you do may you enjoy Him and find pleasure in that which He has created you to do.

I love you. Dad

Keep Pushing Play

Are you blue? Did you experience a letdown after the holidays? I did. Much anticipated visits by family and friends are past. Winter is fully present, and Spring is a long way off. How to remain encouraged and on the job, fully present as an encouraging presence in the lives of others?

"Keep pushing play" were the final words of the fitness instructor on the popular fitness video, P90X. I appreciate Tony Horton's encouragement. The workouts are very challenging and can be demoralizing if one isn't able to complete all the reps or do them as well as the ultra-fit athletes on the screen. So, I really appreciate the realistic instruction, "Do you best, and forget the rest" which translates, "If you can't do everything we do as well as we do it, it's ok. Do your best and trust your body to adapt to the demands you put on it. You'll be able to do more and better next time." Of course they're right. I'm much stronger, fit and flexible today (day 19) than I was on day one).

I remain fascinated how the lessons learned during the pursuit of physical fitness apply to every endeavor in life that requires persistence.

"Keep pushing play"
- Keep doing what you were made to do.
- Do not become weary in doing good, for we will reap a harvest if we don't give up (Galatians 6:9).
- Don't do nothing because you can't do everything. Do what you can.

And a more lengthy exhortation from John Wesley that resonates with Tony Horton's exhortation to BRING IT (bring your best and most intense efforts):
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can

The decision to "push play" on the fitness video means that heavy breathing, perspiration and burning muscles are on the way. It's not a decision made lightly or easily. After pushing play a price will be paid, but the results will be worth it.

What does it mean for you to "push play" today? At home in marriage, with family, at work, in ministry? What price will be paid, and what outcome will be worth it? And what does BRING IT mean for you? What is your best?

Persisting in doing good...