Now that 2016 is in the rearview mirror, I look forward to my next milestone, turning 60 in just 4 days from now.
I had originally intended on starting this countdown a little earlier, but like many aspirations, they often get brushed aside, ignored or forgotten about. This time at least, my excuse carries a little more water as my swollen face from my recent surgery doesn’t look good no matter what angle I try in the mirror.
The mass was in my left parotid salivary gland, which from what I have read typically takes 2 to 3 hours to remove in surgery. My surgery defied those numbers, taking 6 hours to complete because the depth of the tumor, nestled up to the carotid artery. While there has been pain and difficult sleeping, particularly that I habitually sleep on my left side, I am doing quite well and will be visiting the doctor this morning for my post surgery visit and lab results on the mass. Once he clears me, it is back to work.
Well enough of surgery and tumors.
What really matters is what lies ahead, for you and for me and the time we have available.
If we were able to launch out far into space, we could get a better grasp just how small our little world is in this great big universe. And perhaps that would help us to better understand what a tiny speck in time are lives are. But our lives, however long they might be are filled with things that matter and things which do not. So many distractions pull us away from who we really are and what we are really doing here that often we never get any real traction and have grown so accustomed to failure that it has become just another part of who we are.
Begin in the race is more than simply getting out of the gate.
While there is breath in us, no one is beyond the grace of God. No matter how many times you have stumbled and fallen in your race, the grace of God is there.
The calamity of our race is filled with attention drawing noise—rolling amongst the highs and lows of raucous calamity and painful din with lots of pleasantries thrown in just to keep us off-balance and our heart rate anxiously elevated. Flashing lights and barrages of color join the barrage upon our senses and without the use of divine side blinders and the steady, reassuring hand of our Savior we would have no chance to make it down the track.
Our Lord, has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness upholds us in his hand even when fall. We are not thrown in the garbage heap. We are not utterly cast down, for his mercies are new and fresh everyday. Great is his faithfulness to us, even in the midst of our unfaithfulness to him.
But the enemy will do everything within his deceptive means to keep us down when we stumble. As we find ourselves face first in the muck and mud of life, the enemy comes alongside. He presses his boot hard to our necks and whispers in our ears that it is over—tells us that we will never get up. He tells us that no God could love a wretched person like us—that God has abandoned us in our failures. He tells us to take our eyes off the finish line and turn them instead to the world around us. He tells us to take our place with the billions of others endeavoring after fallen, earthly achievements, for this is all there is.
Eat, drink and be merry is the tune of his song.
But God has put a new song in our mouths, giving all praise and honor to Him. He picks us up in his loving arms, holding us tenderly as he reminds us of his never ending love and his unquenchable grace.
So let’s put our eyes back on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith and run the race which is set before us.