2018-01-17 - Inclines
While out and about this past week on a warmer day, my husband and I noticed a man on a bicycle, pedaling along, and at a certain point he began to slow down, and the ride became laborious. It’s amazing how an incline in the surface of the road can seem so insignificant visually from an onlooker’s perspective, yet be such a challenge from the first-person point of view. Yet the goal of the rider includes the knowledge that such variations of the terrains he will cover are not just possible, but quite likely. This concept is also one we need to consider spiritually.
Spiritually speaking, after we pick up the cross, figuratively speaking, of God through the son, Jesus, we understand that the goal is love including everlasting life demonstrated in the ultimate sacrifice made for us. As we pedal along our own paths within the plan of God, we need to understand that the goal is already set before us. If we choose to follow, we must realize that if love is not included in our actions and is not the guiding force in how we live, then we have missed the whole point. As we travel through this world, many things will try to vie for our affections and attention. It is certain we will stumble, but God worked that into the plan as well. We stop, reflect, repent, and begin again toward eternity, one minute and day at a time. How are you faring on the inclines ahead of you? How do the ones you have been able to surmount left you feeling? I am looking forward, long-term, to coasting back into the Father’s arms, with as many as possible doing the same.
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NIV)
All scripture references are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.