Finishing strong

finishline

Today’s Reading 1 Corinthians 1-9

***Note***

We are in Day 14 of a 40 day read through the New Testament challenge today. The first 21 days of readings will be listed at the end of this post

***End Note ***

When I was in basic training in the Army, I thought I out-smarted the system. We were towards the end of training with just a few things left to accomplish and I had an epiphany. One of the last things we had to do was a long march in “full gear”. “Full gear” means uniform, weapon, filled rucksack. I truly am not sure how long the march was. I always have believed it was somewhere between 10-20 miles, the reality was the distance was not the only issue.

We would be forced to march with drill sergeants yelling in our ears and threatening us every step of the way. It was not something to look forward to at all. The drill sergeants had been warning us about this march for weeks. So when time drew near, I knew what I had to do. I volunteered for KP the day of the march. KP, kitchen patrol, is nothing I would want to ever volunteer for normally. It would involve peeling potatoes or carrots or more than likely lots and lots of washing of pots and pans.

Yet, I knew this was my chance. I could escape the reality of this march. My rationale was I had already accomplished a lot in basic training. I didn’t have anything left to prove or so I thought. I was delighted when they let me do KP that morning. I went to mess area that day thrilled. But, life is never as easy as you think.

Five minutes into my KP, the drill sergeant came over and let us know that we would be going with a different platoon overnight doing the same march! To this day, I swear there was almost a sense of exhilaration in the Drill Sergeants voice as he told me that. I had been out-smarted and he was loving every minute of it.

I ended up going on that march overnight and made every mile of it and hating every second of it. I learned a lot that night however. The lessons of that evening flooded back to me during today’s reading. I remembered that the race we are called to run we need to finish it. There is a purpose behind what we are being asked to do. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, was reminding folks of that as well.

The race that God has placed us in has eternal implications. This race is about living out a faith in God that is a core part of who we are. This living faith is what helps us go day by day into a world that might feel hostile or even disinterested. Yet, we press on. Folks need to know. They need to understand.

They need to know that these things we are struggling with do not define us. God is with us and the Holy Spirit is laying out our path for us. We press on in love because God loves. We press on for justice because our God is just. We press on with mercy because God shows us mercy.

There is no shortcut, we need to do the work and finish what God has already started. Keep pressing on! Keep pressing on! Keep pressing on!

First 21 Days of Reading
Day 1 – Ash Wednesday
Mark 1-4

Thursday Day 2 – Mark 5-8

Friday Day 3 Mark 9-12

Saturday Day 4 Mark 13-16

Sunday

 Monday Day 5 1 & 2 Thessalonians

Tuesday Day 6 Galatians

Wednesday  Day 7  Philippians & Colossians

Thursday Day 8 Philemon & Ephesians

Friday Day 9 Matthew 1-7

Saturday Day 10 Matthew 8-12

Sunday

Monday Day 11 Matthew 13-18

Tuesday Day 12 Matthew 19-24

Day 13 Wednesday Matthew 25-28

Today Thursday Day 14 1 Corinthians 1-9

Friday Day 15 1 Corinthians 10-16

Saturday Day 16 2 Corinthians 1-13

Sunday

Monday Day 17 Romans 1-8

Tuesday Day 18 Romans 9-16

Wednesday Day 19 Luke 1-3

Thursday Day 20 Luke 4-7

Friday Day 21 Luke 8-11

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