Stopped in My Tracks

Unstoppable.

Invincible.

Determination.

We have a goal so we keep our nose to the grindstone. We persevere, knowing that our efforts will eventually pay off.

All of a sudden, things come crashing down. The deal that we planned on, the friend that wasn’t there when you needed them most, plans that held hope come up dry, and your own health seems to be against you.

You tried so hard. If the goal could have been attained by sheer determination, you wouldn’t be facing this failure.

But I think that’s the point.

I was pressing on toward the goal of being in the best shape of my life. I love the outdoors, and poured that passion into cycling to work. On my way back one day, I took a drink of water, and before I knew it I was flying…over my handlebars. Face meets concrete. Shock sets in. Pain and confusion are foremost on my mind. I unpin myself from my bike, and retrieve my beat up water bottle. I hobble off the path, and sit on a rock. I called in my awesome hero of a dad.

People stopped to help me, and I waved them on, explaining my help was coming. I was so grateful they cared.

I did a self assessment, and was amazed and grateful that nothing was broken. My knee swelled, as did my face. I knew this would set me back on my workout routine, and I was frustrated. I tried so hard! Why do crazy things always happen to me?

That’s Life

It is crazy, unpredictable, and unique to each person. Through my crash, God taught me that I am stoppable, quite human, and that being fast probably shouldn’t be my goal… ūüėČ He told me to slow down, and look around. Sometimes I’m so stubborn that He literally stops me in my tracks. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. It is always an eye-opening experience, though I don’t really like the pain it causes.

You will never get to live this day again! It is a uniquely beautiful gift from God to you. Being stopped in my tracks made me return my focus to Christ, and not worry so much about my future plans… for I know they are tentative, for God is the ultimate planner and giver of dreams.

So… I’m holding on tight to His hand as He trains me to follow Him: wholeheartedly, everyday.

“I’ve always found that anything worth achieving will always have obstacles in the way and you’ve got to have that drive and determination to overcome those obstacles on route to whatever it is that you want to accomplish.”

Chuck Norris

Bloom and Grow

Abe Lincoln 2

Stop and Smell the Roses

Flowers are lovely. They cheer me up just by looking at them… and let’s be real, I always stop to smell the roses. It reminds me of my¬†Creator, and that He cares about me (us) more than the rose I just had the pleasure of beholding.

Think about rose bushes in the spring. They begin to green up, and the thorns grow bigger. Then slowly, buds form… and one glorious day they bloom! Not all at once, but in stages.

Roses are hardy. And so are we.

Just as roses bloom and grow, the challenges in our life either weigh us down, or force us upward. Resentment, confusion, and sin can stunt our growth and limit our perspective. That is when God gets out His pruning shears. Sometimes I cringe knowing that pain and ugliness will be revealed. But when I remember that pruning brings me closer to God, and allows me to bloom, I rejoice in it.

“Pruning is about more than just looks; proper pruning improves the health of your rose bush (your life), prevents disease and encourages better flowering.”¬†http://www.heirloomroses.com/care/pruning/

Dry Spell

You may be in a drought; you aren’t catching a break, you are unhappy, and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel… But I hope that you will allow God to change your perspective to see beauty all around you, such as the smile of a loved one, a beautiful sunset, and an encouraging word. The unpleasant may still be there, but that’s when we remember that even flowers have to grow through dirt.

flower through dirt