I-35 Lesson #4

Have you ever finished something that you started with dread or uncertainty or self-doubt and thought, “Well, that wasn’t so bad”?

Maybe you jumped out of a plane only because your friend coerced you.

Or you survived the dreaded public speaking gig you just knew would end your life.

Or you breathed in relief after that forever-avoided conversation with that family member.

I was surprised at the frequency of the question “would you do it again?” once someone heard of my completing the I-35 Challenge. The answer is, probably not. But that answer has nothing to do with the experience. It has more to do with how completing a once “questionable something” turned “not so bad something” impacts your mindset.

I-35 Lesson #4: Achievement reveals there’s probably something more

Making the photographer’s job easy (early on Saturday, before I’d hit double digit miles). Photo by @sportsphotoscom.

I’ve experienced it, and I’ve observed it. The lack of confidence at the start line of a race is always alive and well. And for the first-time runner or the first-time attempt at a distance, it’s as much about your mind as it is your legs, your shoes, or your sunglasses.

But somewhere along the journey to completion, the thought crosses your mind, “I’m actually going to get this done. I can’t believe this.” And for many of us, maybe even most, another thought crosses your mind at some point when it’s all over, “I wonder if I can do more.”

Yes.

Yes, you can get that degree.

Yes, you can get that promotion.

Yes, you can climb that mountain.

Yes, you can get completely out of debt.

Yes, you can be a great step-mother.

Yes, you can switch careers in your 40’s.

Yes, you can _____________________.

Yes, there’s more.

Would I do it again? Probably not. There’s something more.

Make a Difference

Recently I was given a book of Puritan Prayers and Devotions entitled The Valley of Vision.

This photo is an excerpt of the prayer I read before sitting down to my desk to start work this Monday morning.

Only a few minutes in, I went to find a pencil in my collection of unused writing utensils. The first one I grabbed had the engraving “I Am Someone Who Makes A Difference.”

I saw a connection that we could all use. May we all pray to submit ourselves to make a difference in our God-given disposition. May we walk, therefore, confidently, purposefully, and observantly to make a difference.

Bold Praying

(Day 22 in a 28-day series from First Bradenton)

Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

When we pray earnestly and sincerely like a child…

After we’ve put on the full armor of God and prayed the offensive prayer to keep us from temptation and protect us from the enemy…

After we have prayed the submissive prayer, subjugating our own desires and committing ourselves to the perfect will of God…

Then we are ready for the bold Kingdom prayer. “Father, let your kingdom come and your will be done here in my heart, in my home and in my country as it is in heaven.”

The writer of Hebrews encourages us:

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

If you had a request to make of the president of the United States, could you just waltz into the Oval Office, or even call him on the phone? Even if you want to talk with the pastor, you must make an appointment. However, as God’s children we have full access to the throne of Heaven. We can approach Him with confidence that He will hear us and answer our petitions. 

Jesus is our great high priest. He made the sacrifice for us so that we could be adopted as heirs in the family of God. He stands at God’s right hand day and night to intercede for us. Because of what He did and who He is and where He is, we have direct access to God to offer our prayers.

It is our privilege to invite heaven to invade earth. We ask God to set up His rule in our hearts. He affects the world around us through His work in us. He only intervenes when we make that request of Him. Therefore, this prayer is our honor, our responsibility and our sacred duty.

We remember who we are as the children of God. We confess our sins and pray for protection from the evil around us. We submit ourselves to the will of God for our lives, even if we don’t understand the path He chooses for us. And then we invite the Kingdom of God into our reality.

Dear Father God, may your perfect plan be executed and may your Kingdom reign on this planet in the same way that it exists in heaven.

Understanding the moral climate in which we live, can there exist any bolder prayer than that?

By Lisa Fulghum