LATJ: The Courage to Change

10 09 2009

Discipline: activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training:
Devotion: profound dedication
Determination: the act of coming to a decision or of fixing or settling a purpose.

Looking at these qualities, I’m reminded of a quote from Lou Holtz. He said, “Winners embrace hard work…Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference”. Part of the challenge with discipline, devotion, and determination is that is does take hard work. It takes a constant focus on the goals set before us. Sometimes we see the activities that help us grow in our faith as inconvenient or time consuming, and they become low on our priority list. No one reaches the finish line and receives the prize unless they have trained for the race. As Paul said in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

I like this story from the book “Peace with God” by Billy Graham:

A little child playing one day with a very valuable vase put his hand into it and could not withdraw it. They were thinking of breaking the vase when the father said, “Now, my son, make one more try. Open your hand and hold your fingers out straight as you see me doing, and then pull.” To their astonishment the little fellow said, “O no, father, I couldn’t put my fingers out like that, because if I did I would drop my penny.”

We have no excuse other than our frail human minds. But then again, we have the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. Our problem is that we do not use this power when we are weak. Many of us are like that little boy, so busy holding on to the world’s worthless penny that we cannot accept liberation. Let go, and let God have His way in your life.

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