Thursday, February 3, 2011
Last week I was struggling so much. I felt all alone in this business of leading a team to collect gift-filled shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child and I listened to Satan's lies whispering, "You're all alone and this is just too hard." I gave in to discouragement.
I had airline tickets to fly to Baltimore for our Operation Christmas Child Mid-Atlantic Region's Area Coordinators' retreat and I didn't even want to go. I had a four-hour layover in the Cleveland airport on Friday morning and started a book I'd been meaning to read, The Hole In Our Gospel, by the president of World Vision, Richard Stearns. I got caught up in the story of Richard's fight against God's calling to leave his job as CEO of Lenox and step into the job of leading World Vision. His words on page 49 hit me between the eyes and I felt like they were God's voice speaking to me.
"What if there are children who will suffer somehow because I failed to obey God? What if my cowardice costs even one child somewhere in the world his or her life?"
I sat in the airport wiping my eyes and wondering--what if? What if I just give up on the goal of packing boxes and leading a team? What if? Will it make a difference? There's only one answer. Yes. God can certainly raise up others who will fill in the gaps and pack more boxes but it will make a difference in my life if I don't follow the call and "what if" it makes a difference for even one child somewhere?
So I arrived at the retreat with a new attitude and felt God's refreshment in the hours I spent with the OCC staff and my fellow area coordinators.
Still, Satan is doing hard work in my life this week. The battle continues and it makes me think of a story my daughter Julie told me. Julie decided to run the Chicago Marathon this year with only 5 weeks of training. Because of her limited training she set a goal of completing it in 5 hours and by staying at a slow, even pace she was able to do that.
Her friend, Zack, had trained for long days to run the race in 3 & 1/2 hours. When it was 92 degrees on race day he went out too fast for the conditions and ended up depleted and exhausted. It took him 4 & 1/2 hours to finish and he had to walk the last 6 miles.
In those last hard miles one of the enthusiastic spectators yelled to him, "RUN, you can DO it--just RUN!" Zack tried to take two running steps and his knees buckled. So the spectator yelled in alarm, "WALK! JUST WALK!"
That's how I'm feeling right now. I'm not running the race very well. But I'm not going to give in to Satan's attacks. I'm not going to quit. I'm going to slow down a little and keep...
Posted by Kathy Schriefer at 4:23 AM