There are weeks in life where you have to go back to "creeds" in your life..."vows" almost.
Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians, "conflicts on the outside, fears within." It feels like it's been on of those weeks and when I'm staring down double barrel of "conflict and fear", it can really vacuum out the frills and chills forcing you to the anchor of your soul. The core reason. The deep beliefs that drive you when feelings falter or fade.
I haven't been getting good sleep, my mind has been filled with the barbed wire of worry, fear is on my mind like stink on a monkey, and people seem to be dropping like blowflies lately due to everything from rebellion to emotional collapse. Last night I woke at 4 in the morning with my chest tight and my mind racing, what some people call a panic attack that I've come to call "the fight".
So like I said, I have to return to my roots. And God reminded me this week of verses that I memorized in college in my Junior year that I knew I would need to center me in seasons in the future when that fight was on.
There were several that came to mind, but the one that really stuck out to me was in 2 Timothy 4 where Paul said: "I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. And there is now stored up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will aware me on that day, and not for me only--but also all those who long for His appearing." It may not be word for word, but that's pretty close.
It all came back to me like a core memory that I'd almost forgotten. I felt a few things rise up in me afresh as I engaged the battle this morning:
1. I want to be one of the Fighters. Not fighting just any fight, but the good fight...the Right Fight. Sometimes someone will say, "You got any fight left in ya?" I want to say on that day, I fought to the end.
2. I want to be one of the Finishers. It doesn't take anything to start something, that's easy. You can start a child, but can you raise a child? Can I finish as a Father? I can start a relationship, but can I complete the marathon of marriage to the very finish line? I don't want to start strong, I want to finish well.
3. I want to be one of the Faithful. There are days when I know I am driven by Fruitfulness instead of Faithfulness. The result instead of the reason. And though I want to get results, I want to be faithful even when I don't see immediate gratification. Even if I never see the fruits of my labor, I want to do what's right even when feelings aren't there. Faithfulness is rare.
It's Saturday morning and I'm getting prepped for the weekend. My heart is pounding with passion and tension. But somehow reminding myself of these verses that have buoyed me for so long gives me hope that they will buoy me the remainder of my fleeting days on this earth before I stand before the One with eyes of fire and give an account for me life. I want him to say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."
The is my reason, not matter the results.