Structured Persistence

I’m a regimented person. I know it. I like structure. A lot. To a fault. Sometimes this quality serves me well; sometimes it doesn’t.

One of the ways it doesn’t is when I’m in a season of life or in a situation in life where things are chaotic. My new job at Love In the Name of Christ (Love INC) is like that right now. They’ve never really had someone doing the things I’m doing (and going to do), so there’s no blueprint on how to do the job. There’s no job manual and no job description, per se. That really doesn’t mesh well with my structured personality, but with God’s help, I’m adapting.

But one of the ways this trait works well for me is when I participate in structured programs, like memorizing Scripture while reading a 30-day devotional book which coincides the memorization. I’ve succeeded at others that were similar, like 40 Days of Purpose by Rick Warren, 90-day exercise programs, and now, The 40-Day Prayer Challenge – Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson.

Tomorrow will be Day 1 on this 40-day journey, done with all the folks at Love INC, all of whom also have the book Draw The Circle. We are doing it together, believing that God will do great things in us and through us. We expect to be different on Day 40 than we are on Day 1.

Mark Batterson, the author of Draw The Circle says:

“The goal of the 40-day Prayer Challenge isn’t to get what you want by Day 40. In fact, the goal isn’t to get what you want at all. The goal is to figure out what God wants’ what God wills. Then start circling it in prayer and don’t stop until God answers.”

That’s what I’m going to do and that’s what we’re going to do at Love INC.

(Love In the Name of Christ [Love INC] is a national network of non-profit organizations which are committed to meeting needs and transforming lives by the love of Christ through the Body of Christ, His church. To find out more, visit our local ministry Facebook page HERE, or hear the story behind the ministry HERE)

Click HERE to find the book, Draw The Circle by Mark Batterson on Amazon.com.

It’s a journey…

So I’m up in New Jersey celebrating our granddaughter Kennedy’s high school graduation. To think that Kennedy is this old, nevermind graduating, is almost unthinkable. Wasn’t my wife holding her in her arms just yesterday? Didn’t we just play “tea party” last week? How did this happen?

Kennedy is ready to move on. She can’t wait to start her “new” life learning all about make-up in cosmetology school. She wants to do make-up professionally. Before she graduated, you’d hear her say something like, “I can’t wait until I graduate! Then I’ll _____________” or “I can’t wait until I’m 18; then I’ll ___________.” You fill in the blanks. It’s not uncommon to hear that from a teenager. Now it’s on to the next big thing. Now she’s saying, “I can’t wait til I move out; then I’ll _______.” Again, pretty common for someone Kennedy’s age.

We all do it. We look longingly at the future we imagine or expect and can’t wait until we get there. Once there, we do it all over again. The problem is that we miss the journey. We miss the golden moments with those we love. We fail to notice those that are supporting us or helping us along the way. We fail to be grateful. We miss the lessons God is trying to show us in the process. We’re in such a hurry. One day we wake up and we’ve missed it.

Enjoy the journey. It’s the only one this side of heaven you and I get.