Saturday, January 10, 2009

Focus On the Goal

by Sarah Stirman
on heartlight

It happened again. Out running, my foot landed squarely on ... something ... a pecan ... a rock? Whatever it was, it rolled my foot right off, twisted my ankle, and sent me sprawling. Now I'm sporting an oh-so-fashionable walking cast and have a few weeks to rest the foot before I can take off running again.

Having a "poor me" moment, I started thinking, "Well, how am I supposed to run? I guess I'll have to focus on the ground around me to keep this from happening again ..." That would slow me down considerably, and cause me to hate running as I would spend each run scanning the road at my feet for obstacles or jeopardy instead of enjoying the scenery and running toward my goal.

Well, what do successful runners do? Successful runners run smart by not running on obviously treacherous landscape, but run with gusto enjoying the scenery, scanning the road for obvious pitfalls and dangers but keeping an eye on the goal, knowing that injury is an acceptable risk: it just might happen and you deal with it when it does. You can't run a successful race worrying about and focusing on obstacles and injuries; you run a successful race by knowing your goal and running toward it.

What if this race I run in life were the same way? What if I spent most of my time enjoying the scenery and focusing on my goal of heaven instead of trying to tiptoe my way around obstacles and worrying about what I will do if I get hurt? I tend to hyper-focus on people that may (or have) hurt me, situations and arguments that hold me back or frustrate me, and obstacles and stumbling blocks that only serve to keep my eyes off my goal.

In the same way that the road I run on is my reality, and perils along the way will likely be a problem at some point, this world that I live in is my reality, no matter how perfect my goal destination is. Focusing on my goal of heaven won't keep this world from affecting me, twisting my ankle and scraping my knees on occasion. But I can't let the fear of that injury keep me from running this race with all I've got, loving and living big and loud, spilling God's love and sharing my goal of heaven along the path. I must run smart, and avoid obvious pitfalls, but I have to accept getting hurt as acceptable risk: it will happen at some point and God will continue to be faithful, providing His people and His comfort in my time of recuperation.

So I'm ready. Ready to get back to road running as well as running through life with my eyes on my goal, not on the pettiness and mess around me. If you see me sprawled along the way, I may need help to my feet, I may need a ride home, and I may need some encouragement and comfort while I recuperate. But I'll invite you to run alongside me, running this race with perseverance, fixing our eyes on Jesus, striding together toward the goal.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV).

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Update from The Coffee Group

Ola! from 2009!! Coffee Group realizes we have been remiss in updating our blog, or website! We know some of you are still out there, still praying for us even, and we would like to keep you updated on us.

The biggest, most heart-breaking news is that our precious Judy lost her 24-year-old son, Ben, to an aortic aneurysm November 10, 2008. Judy, her husband Tom, her remaining two children, Cade and Lori, as well as dozens of other family members and friends were thrust into grieving and are now walking a journey there is no map for. Ben would have turned 25 tomorrow, January 9. Please keep all of Ben's family in your prayers.

Sarah wrote about it here.
Tammy wrote about it here.

As God is prone to do, He really protected Coffee Group's schedule for this spring. Now we are not able to minister to ladies far and near as we love to do so much, we are caring for one of our own. We still have some speaking opportunities that we are trying to confirm and work with every schedule. As soon as that is confirmed, we will post it here! We appreciate every prayer brought before the Father on our behalf.

As we look to 2009, we pray that each of you continue to make time with your Father a priority, a daily cleansing of your mind from what the world and Satan throw your way! We pray, too, that you will come to cherish His word and the truth and words of love it contains. May you trust HIM to grow you into the Princess you are!