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3/10/09 11:48 P

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(By Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries)


“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.” ~Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)


Yesterday, my friend Holly and I decided to get up early and run.

Now make no mistake, what Holly and I call running would not impress athletic people. But to the untrained eye, our shake and shuffle jogging works.

Since we were at the beach and in an unfamiliar setting, we needed to plot our course. We set our sites on a water tower in the distance and decided to make that our goal. We wouldn't stop running until we were standing beside the water tower.

It wasn't long before my legs and lungs started protesting. They were sending lightening bolt pleas to my brain to stop and stop now. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Stop!

I wanted to stop.

But much to the dismay of my sweating body, I wanted to reach my goal more. We pressed on though the water tower seemed FOREVER away. There were no short cuts or easier routes. It would require step-by-step determination. Putting one foot in front of another and making the decision to refuse to quit.

Never has a water tower come so slowly.

But it did eventually come.

We were soon in its shadow.

Then we were right beside it.

And then we ran by it.

Reaching our goal was so invigorating, even my legs and lungs gave the thumbs up to keep going. We ran all the way to end of the road and turned and looked back.

No one step had been more important than another. Each step served a purpose. Each one was necessary to get us to the goal and beyond.

As we turned and headed back, I realized how much this morning run mimicked my life's journey toward the dream of writing a book. There were many times my insecurities or my feelings of inadequacy screamed out for me to stop.

At times the goal of seeing a real book with my name on the cover seemed so far away. So illusive. It was not easy and there were no short cuts. Just the decision to embrace each step as necessary and refusing to quit.

Then one day, I lifted up a little yellow book with a strange looking green flower beside my name on the front cover. And as sweet as the shadow of a dream come true was, I just couldn't stay there. I kept on running. And smiling. And dreaming some more.

Do you have a dream tucked in your heart?

I suspect you do.

Sweet sister, bring your dream, whatever it is, back out into the light of day and press on.

I once had someone ask me what was the one thing I did that finally helped my dream of getting published come to pass.

To be honest, I can't say one thing.

Each part of the journey was essential. All the rejection letters. All the prayers. All the soul searching to check my motives. All the input from family and friends. All the studying and reading and researching. All the discouragement, and all the encouragement.

It was all part of it.

Step by step.

And looking back, I wouldn't have it any other way. After all, it was never really about getting a book published. It was about gaining a deeper relationship with God along the way.

Dear Lord, Help me discern which dreams in my heart are from You and which are not. Help me to make the pursuit be more about growing closer to You than anything else. And give me wisdom to know how to follow my dreams and the courage to take the next steps. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


"When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would have not a single bit of talent left and could say, 'I used everything You gave me.'" ~Erma Bombeck
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