Reality Sets In

Good Friday to You,

December 17, 2016. That was the day reality set in on my most recent personal adventure. My fun plan to go from “couch to Marathon” in 7.5 months was no longer fun at all! Beginning on that day, injuries plagued my training. Once again, I had sorely (pun intended) underestimated an endeavor. As Carol Ann will attest, I have made this mistake many times… and keep making it! Underestimating the effort, time, and resources necessary to complete sizeable tasks is a real weakness of mine…but to me it is also one of my most treasured gifts.

Life’s challenges and tasks simply look easier and faster and cheaper to me than they really are. Then, after I commit to what I thought was quick and easy, I choose to finish what was clearly longer and more difficult than I anticipated. On many occasions, I’m glad I didn’t know all of the details up front, because I may not have started what is now finished!

Underestimating the cost plagues many of us in our following of Jesus. Yes, we know that Christ-followers have suffered and even been killed because of their allegiance to Jesus, but we underestimate the real cost of following our Lord. We expect the path to be easier and less costly than Jesus’ command to “take up our cross.” Shucks, we throw around the phrase “it’s my cross to bear” as if a difficult co-worker or nosey mother-in-law is what Jesus had in mind. It was not!

This weekend, we begin our summer sermon series:  Follow Along. Beginning with a study of the life and ministry of Noah, this summer will provide a clear picture of what it really looks like to follow our Lord. It is unavoidably costly. He is unmistakably worth it!

Marathon Day. A few minutes after crossing the finish line, I was a mess. I downed two bananas, two bottles of water, and was then flat on the ground for 10 minutes…miserable. But, more than a physical mess, I was an emotional wreck. Shaking. Crying. Snot everywhere.

I finished.

I literally “ran the race.” What began to feel impossible on December 17th, was finished in that moment on February 19th.

I can only imagine what it will feel like to stand before my Lord on THAT day! I will more fully sense the gravity of the sacrifice He made for me and the value of the salvation He purchased for me. I will also see how every effort and sacrifice I made to follow Him was absolutely worth it!!!

Hope to see you this weekend,

Pastor Michael

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