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    JOHNTJ1   73,533
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Knock Three Times? Having Faith In The Process

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Sunday, May 06, 2012

The thunderstorm jarred me awake around 2:30 Saturday morning. After fifteen minutes, I was wide-awake. From experience I knew it would be a while before I drifted back to sleep. Rolling over on my back I listened to the thunder and lightning. It’s when I started to think about Moses.

Of all the Old Testament personalities, Moses is a favorite. Moses took on the responsibility of leading a large group of people to the Promised Land, the home God had promised to them. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized the forty-year journey the Bible talks about takes only eight weeks in a direct line from Point A to Point B. When you stop and think about it how many of us take a direct line anywhere? I have been on a fifty-eight year journey and I do not think I have rarely gone from Point A to Point B, paused, and said, "Boy you got that one right the first time!" Mostly I fumble around in the dark until I hit my head on the wall or the beam overhead and realize I might want to try a different way out of the room. That is where I can relate to Moses. He wandered around the desert for forty years and during that time, he relied on God to provide him with food, shelter, and safety. There was so much drama that this journey takes up four books in the Bible. When all was said and done Moses simply could not rely on the experience of faith that had guided him for close to forty years. We know tracking our food, staying within our calorie limits, working our exercise program, getting enough rest, all those real important things to creating healthy balance in our life; we know those things are critical, crucial, and important to us but how often do we go looking for other sources? How often do we go looking for "quick fixes?" When we can’t get in shape quick enough, the pounds don’t come flying off us quick enough, we lose faith, we become frustrated, and we begin looking for other alternative sources to. We who dwell in the 21st century are not about to put up with a forty-year journey towards anything. Shoot fire, we have a hard time putting up with a forty-minute journey. As the people who Moses led around the desert we periodically create those quick fixes, those idols that we believe are going to get us from Point A to Point B quicker. Maybe we starve ourselves or push ourselves to the point of injury because “skinny” is more desirable than “healthy.” I have been there and done that.

Moses had a tough job. It seemed no matter what he said or what he did there were always a handful of people who seem to know better. It happens at the gym from time to time. The folks that come up to me and say, "If you did…”

Moses went up to the top of the mountain and during his conversation with God, he shared his frustration. The people were complaining that there wasn't enough water. Moses sat there at the top of the mountain venting. Maybe it's not an issue of water for us Maybe it's an issue of a weight plateau, or sore back or” I'm just plain tired and don't want to exercise.” Maybe we lose our motivation from time to time. Like Moses, we get lost in the desert. Some of us are there longer than forty years. We know, intuitively, that if we have faith in the process we will ultimately achieve a healthy balance in our lives. God suggested to Moses that he go over to a formation of rocks, take his staff, and hit the rock one time and one time only. He would have all the water they needed. Moses gathered up his robes, picked up the staff and headed towards the rock. Moses lifts his staff and hits the rock one time. “If once is good twice must be better.” Moses strikes the rock again. "Third times a charm," Moses must have thought, so he hit the rock a third time. As I said, I have never had a water shortage but I have started thinking what would happen if I cut even more calories from my diet. Wouldn't I lose weight quicker? What would happen if I exercise for an hour everyday rather than thirty minutes? Never mind that my doctor, my trainer, my beloved wife, and a host of other wonderful friends who have made this journey successfully have laid out a simple process “Hit the rock once John!!!.

The water started to trickle, Moses felt satisfied and turned to walk down the mountain, another crisis averted. That's when he heard God asked him if he understood the directions, and like us, when Moses kept trying to come up with an excuse for not following the plan he ended up seeing Gods wisdom. There is a consequence to not following our plan. There is a consequence to being impatient. It takes us that much longer to reach our destination and we begin to become self-critical and doubt the process itself. How often do you and I receive signs and wonders by the very people God has placed in our lives to share their journey, their wisdom and their experience? How often do we ignore them because we seem to know better. I realize how many times a day I hit the rock three times figuring something that is good has to be even better if I modify it. In Moses case, he wasn’t allowed into the Promised Land because of his lack of faith.

It's the "P" word. Patience is such a hard thing to practice. It is why we have each other.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MOM-MOM8 5/8/2012 7:56AM

    emoticon for your words of wisdom. They were needed today. emoticon

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SANDIBETTS1 5/8/2012 4:23AM

  great blog, wonderful insight--Thank you!

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MISSLISA1973 5/8/2012 1:04AM


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CLAYARTIST 5/7/2012 10:28PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MYSTERY-LADY1 5/7/2012 10:07PM


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    I hate patience, she's a biznotch. Well, c'mon!! She dilly-dallies, it's just annoying.
Patience has to work for the darkside. I'm sure she does! It can't be me and my ungrateful attitude, no. That can't be where the error lies.
Shhh...John. Not another word. I'm almost a master in denial.
Hee hee.
For the record, yes.
Yes, it is fun being me. Except for the times when being a stubborn woman bites me in the butt.

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YIWEN39 5/7/2012 7:22PM

    Wonderful blog :-) emoticon

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SIRISJO 5/7/2012 7:15PM

    wow, this really struck a chord in me! thanks for such a great blog! emoticon

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DIANNEMT 5/7/2012 7:09PM

    I need to remember that I did lose the weaight--even though it comes back fast, it takes time to take it off again. So--patience isn't my strong suit but I'll hang in there!

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SERASARA 5/7/2012 5:33PM


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JIBBIE49 5/7/2012 5:04PM

    emoticon Wonderful to see your blog featured in the Spark mail. What an honor. emoticon

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LAINYC 5/7/2012 1:08PM


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MARIONWARSAW 5/7/2012 1:01PM

  Thank you so much for writing down your thoughts and inspiration's in these blogs I read them and each time they give me that little nudge I need to keep on going. You are a blessing. emoticon

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DJHUMPHREY 5/7/2012 12:09PM

    I am reading those chapters right now. I was never taught anything about religion till I grew up and started seeking the journey on my own. I have read the new Testament, Sometimes twice, I was advised too. I am reading the Old Testament, almost done with Numbers.

You gave me a better understanding about the book in the bible.


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LIVELYGIRL2 5/7/2012 12:09PM

  Really good insight and illustration points comparing Moses. Thanks! emoticon

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SPECIALGURL7 5/7/2012 12:09PM

    That is definitely why patience is a virtue.

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LADILADIDA 5/7/2012 11:24AM

    Simply put, this message of patience was one that I needed today. Thank you.

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MIMIDOT 5/7/2012 10:43AM

    Very interesting, and TRUE. We are all impatient to loose our weight. Thank you for reminding us to be patient.

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NEEDBU66 5/7/2012 10:38AM

    Great reminder. If it took 40 years to put the weight on, we sure can't expect it to come back off in 3 months- that's for sure! (Not and stay off!)

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LAINGMOM 5/7/2012 10:32AM

    So true.

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HEARTS116 5/7/2012 10:19AM

    Very cool blog!

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LMULLINS4LIFE 5/7/2012 9:25AM

    Love your blogs. Thanks for this!

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WALLINMW 5/7/2012 9:06AM

  Thankyou for sharing. Very inspiring.

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DASAJUHAMA 5/7/2012 9:03AM


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FARIS71 5/7/2012 8:57AM

    Absolutely spot on! Thank you so much! This helps not only my health journey but lots of other things in my life.

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PROVERBS31JULIA 5/7/2012 8:17AM

    Thanks soooo much for writing this, John. It's truly what I needed to see. And it's doubtless my attempt to do too much that has resulted in this mess I'm in now, with my shoulder.


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SUSANFD 5/7/2012 8:17AM

    what a great analogy! very inspirational.

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    you are a GREAT writer ... quite inspirational ... thank you

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CINDYYB 5/7/2012 7:46AM

    Thanks so much!

An important note that always encourages me: God talked to Moses face-to-face, as a friend. Regardless of our mistakes and ups-and-downs, we are still very valuable and of great worth to God!


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LAURA747681 5/7/2012 7:15AM

    40 years is about how long I have been on this overcoming emotional overeating journey. Patience is what I need now, and perseverance.
Posted on my cupboard: "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11.
Another example of looking at a spiritual concept and applying it to the physical.
Great blog!

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JGRAY76 5/7/2012 7:00AM

    As always, very insightful.

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NASFKAB 5/7/2012 6:50AM


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  What a great analogy! I loved it. Actually, I love being able to connect spiritual lessons with physical ones, because then the physical ones just make more sense.
I learned from Moses that God cares more about our Faith than about our comfort. We don't always have to love it, to agree with it, to understand it - we just have to believe and do it, and we will get to where we are supposed to go. The more we focus on some other way and doubt the Plan and the Hand who made it and us, the longer we end up hanging around in the wilderness with no direction or focus.
Thanks for all your blogs and keep them coming - you have a host of loyal followers!

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PENOWOK 5/7/2012 6:26AM

    Very well put!

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GRAMPIAN 5/7/2012 5:57AM

  Interesting blog. emoticon

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COURTNEYO5 5/7/2012 5:55AM

    That was an amazing blog. It moved me because I am still fairly new here and am stil learning. Nearly brought me to tears. Thank u for sharing and starting my day off on a positive wonder u were under "motivational spark people blogs"...just what I needed to read too because yesterday I went over my cals. by 300 (all else was good)..felt like giving up...but here I hopes..thanks again! Courtney emoticon

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SUSANK16 5/7/2012 5:29AM

  wish I had that type of thoughts when I woke up at night - it would make it worth it.

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/7/2012 5:19AM

    Great analogy. Thanks again for putting it out there.

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NCSUE0514 5/7/2012 4:53AM

    Great thoughts

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GRNBTL 5/7/2012 4:08AM


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BELDONDOG1 5/6/2012 10:46PM

    Another great blog, John! Patience has never been one of my strongest points, but I keep praying for it. Since I have been on Spark, a few people from my team have lost their patience, stepped back for a while and had the usual thing happen. Back comes the weight, with a lot of his/her little brothers. Now they are back trying again and I hope this time they make it. I was just like them. Things are going too slowly, scale not moving, I'd be out of here--but, I have been given or learned a little patience. I'm still here and hopefully for the long haul. That's why I signed up for your blogs--I need the motivation. However, I much prefer your videos :) Keep them coming, John and thank you! Noel

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SHEDEVIL6464 5/6/2012 10:27PM

    Thank you, John, for a great reminder. Best wishes.

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KITTYKRS 5/6/2012 9:36PM

  Thank you!! An awesome blog. I, too, am a compulsive eater...aren't most all of us! emoticon

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CARTOONB 5/6/2012 5:25PM

    But it's so hard! emoticon

Great reminder.

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    Awesome blog!

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JILL313 5/6/2012 3:40PM

    I enjoyed reading your blog and will try to have more patience as it took me a long time to become obese so I'm in this Journey for the long haul. Your blogs are always insightful and helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write them for all of us.


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NEWTINK 5/6/2012 3:18PM

    Wonderful Blog John.... they just keep getting better and better !!!!

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  John I applaud your illustration! One thing that Moses and his people had in common with the ones who "wander around" here on Sparks is: They lost their FOCUS. Even Moses eventually did. They were supposed to give the glory to Jehovah God and because they didn't and they were also a complaining "wanting" bunch, unhappy with God's provisions, He punished them by having them wander in the wilderness for the Forty years. Even though, as you pointed out, it was within their reach, if they had just stayed focused and had patience. In the end, even Moses lost out. We should all take a lesson from this. Be patient and stay focused and you will be rewarded! HUGS!

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Thank you so much for your blog. Great reminder for myself as sometimes I struggle with different things in my life. I appreciate your thoughts keep them coming and inspiring us! God Bless!


Comment edited on: 5/6/2012 2:18:08 PM

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SANDRALEET 5/6/2012 1:45PM

    Gad can give us the way put we have to get there. God daze not do the work for us.

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