Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lent Day 25: Thankful for the next day

"Are we there yet?" If you've traveled with kids, you know the routine. Everyone starts out happy to be on an adventure. After a while, you pull out the toys, play travels games, and snooze.

Then comes the inevitable exhaustion and boredom. Everyone gets restless and cranky. At this point, many parents would rather turn around and go home ... except they may be further than halfway or the destination is vitally important.

In the last month, I've been asking God, "Are we there yet? Will this part of the journey ever be over?"

I successfully defended my dissertation yesterday, with some revisions required. Within 2 weeks, I have to have the amended document to my advisers––and within 4 weeks, the approved dissertation has to be at the copy editor. So ... while the goal is not yet reached, the end is in view. April 15, here I come.

On life's journey, we can be tempted to throw in the towel. Dr. Jack Rozell preached a sermon I remember from 25 years ago. He noted: "Eventually, as you walk with God, there comes a place where you look around you. It may be discouraging, you may feel defeated, and you may be worn out. But you realize, 'I'm too far along to go back now.'

"It's like an airplane ride. Even though the engine is skipping and the fuel is low, you have to keep going rather than turn back. It's the same way in the Christian faith. You know you've committed your life to Christ and the reward is in sight; it would be foolish to go back now."

I was afraid that with all the reading and thinking, I would lose the main focus of life––serving and pleasing God. Fearful that head knowledge would displace heart conviction and spiritual passion. Thanks to good counselors and mentors, life returns to balance again and again, even in the middle of sorting human ideals and ideas.

I'm grateful today for academic help in a spiritual context:
  • from AGTS faculty and advisers who have helped me refine my research and writing. 
  • I'm thankful for Joy Qualls, an Evangel prof who took time to inform and cheer me on and sat on my committee.
  • I appreciate the copious study files of Barbara Cavaness, who opened them to me and pointed out what still needed to be learned.
  • Help was ongoing from Gloria Robinett who became a dear friend at the AGWM archives, and Darrin Rodgers and Catherine McGee at the FPHC.

So far, so good. There's more work to do but the end is in sight. Thanks be to God.

Read more:
*Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. Proverbs 3:7

*So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV

*Christ Jesus became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30

Moravian Prayer: Forgive us for our pride, dear Lord, and for thinking so highly of ourselves that we miss the essence of your grace. Restore us and lead us into deeper faithfulness and righteousness so others will get a glimpse of you in us. Amen.


  1. "...I'm too far along to go back now." This is a true saying. My dying words will be "quitting is not an option."

  2. Terrific posts! Thank you for modeling tenacity.