Sunday, August 19, 2012

Staying on Course

Philippians 3:12-14
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

We went on another long walk today, all the way around the block. We did it in the daylight, when the sun was right on us. It wasn't too hot, but doing it in the daytime is another step of progress.

We walk slowly, because that's the only pace Tammy can manage at this point. She's doing really well considering we're still almost a week away from day 100. But it's a little difficult for me to walk at that slow pace. Although that sounds funny, let me give you a little project to prove the point.

Go outside and walk at your normal pace. Then try to walk 50 percent faster. While you can get winded and can't keep up that pace for very long, it's not hard to maintain your balance. Now try walking 50 percent slower. It's tougher than it sounds. When you walk slowly, you're balancing on one foot far longer than you normally do, unless you're a flamingo. It can cause you to lean one way or another and even lose your balance.

One evening last week, we were walking up and down our street. As we walked past our driveway, Tammy said, "If you want to sit on the porch and wait for me I'll be through in a couple of minutes." Puzzled, I said, "No, I'll keep walking with you. Why did you suggest that?" She told me that I veered off to the right, which I disputed. Then it hit us. I was walking slowly. At that point, I was balancing on my left foot and started to lean to the right. It appeared I was trying to head up the driveway.

Slow progress is tough to maintain without losing your balance. During Tammy's last recovery, she made steady progress, especially when looking back from a distance. But if we remember correctly, there were quite a few days of three steps forward followed by days of two steps back. The end result was a step forward, but it seemed more drastic. This time, it's been much steadier, with very few steps backward and a step forward almost every day. It's been very steady, and slow enough that it's sometimes hard to recognize any progress at all.

Are you trying to recover from something? Are you struggling with an addiction? Are you recovering from a serious illness like Tammy is? Are you trying to rebuild a broken relationship? Progress may be very slow, and even hard to recognize. We want to encourage you to look at it from a distance and see what progress looks like. Slow progress might temporarily cause you to lose your balance and veer off to one side. But the big picture is that if we keep progressing, we'll end up in a better place than when we started.

Isn't that the goal?

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