Embrace Suffering. Part I

For my birthday this past June, my wife bought me a wall-mountable pull up bar. I haven’t finished putting it up yet…and it’s August.

Yeah, I know.

So today after church and dinner, with my daughter taking her much needed nap, I decided to work on it. The instructions said to put the actual pieces of the pull up bar together before mounting it to the wall, which I managed to do while Mrs. SJMak and I watched an average movie on Netflix.

I walked outside to drill the necessary holes in the wall of my garage. Mind you, I marked the drill spots WEEKS ago. Marked the studs, etc.,

Drilled one set of holes fine. Went to the other side and…wellp, that’s not a stud.

I think there is concrete behind a portion of my wall. Who does that?!?

This is the second home I’ve had the privilege of buying. But any homeowner who has owned a home for more than a month knows that stuff comes up. And with the stuff comes money and handyman work.

I like the thought of being a handyman; handling issues around the house, while my wife sings my praises (lol). But how many of you know that handling house stuff is NEVER straight forward. There’s ALWAYS something I wasn’t prepared for.

Lately I’ve learned something about myself; Sometimes I have a tendency to back down when challenges present themselves that I wasn’t prepared to handle. In SO many areas.

At this point in my life, the message that keeps flooding my spirit is this…if you expect to get anything worthwhile out of life, you CAN’T BACK DOWN. You have to learn to face challenges head on, fearlessly. That thing that makes you stop, go inside, and watch TV on the couch instead of being productive…FACE it. Stand flatfooted, stare it right in its eyes and face it head on.

Today at Eighth Day Church, Pastor David Brinson spoke on ‘conditioning’ (click here to listen to Contagious Understanding Part 2); going through necessary disciplines to be the resilient and powerful people God designed us to be. That’s what the apostles did even before they performed the signs, miracles, and wonders we always speak of desiring today.

Acts 2:42-44 (NLT)
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper[a]), and to prayer.  43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.

We can’t have the power without the conditioning. There are no shortcuts!

So face it. You can either sit around being dissatisfied with life while you wait on manna to fall from the sky, or you can embrace the necessary pain and suffering that come from pursuing God and all that He has made available to you. Your choice.

Now, back to this pull up bar.

Stop Talking, Do It.

The title says it all, folks.

I read an article from a website for the Gym Jones facility in Utah that made this point…with rather explicit language. I would have posted the link, but I wouldn’t wish to offend anyone. Though I normally opt for ‘cleaner’ fare, I appreciated the honesty and bluntness of the post.

Basically, the point is this: someone out there wants to accomplish something. It could be getting in the right relationship with God…it could be to finally lose weight and be healthy…it could even be to learn an instrument. But you can never seem to do it. Why?

The list of excuses rolls on and on and on.

Could it be that you’re afraid to work hard?

Before you stop reading and think I’m picking on you, just think about it.

Think about your goal. Got it? Good.

Now think about what it will take to reach it. Did a shiver go down your spine? Did you get nervous?

I’ll cut to the chase. Sometimes it takes hard work to reach our goals and realize our desires. But should that stop us? We have one life, and a whole lot of potential. We are fearfully and wonderfully made…our brains and bodies have more potential than we could ever imagine. And you mean to tell me that we still find reasons to fall off the wagon?

Let’s stop talking and just DO it.

This won’t be the last post on this subject. 😉