Thursday, January 11, 2018

How "If" Becomes "When"

It usually begins as a joke, a suggestion made entirely of jest.  Then that tiny seed that wasn't spoken in earnest begins to take root in our brain.  Perhaps the next conversation on that topic isn't a joke, but isn't spoken of as a reality either.  But hearing our discussion of it waters the tiny seed and it sprouts into a tender plant.  Pretty soon we are speaking of the topic, not as some impossible thing, but something that is possible but improbable.  The plant grows.  Before long the discussion changes from "if" to "when" and the plant has taken root.

This is what happened with our walking "marathon" last February.  We had hiked our longest day the previous May, 23.17 miles.  The feat both surprised and impressed us.  I never thought we could hike that many miles in one day, but the weather was great and the path easy.

Once we returned home we began talking that we had almost walked the distance of a marathon, or 26.2 miles.  We began to joke that if we could walk twenty three miles, then we could walk a marathon one day.  The discussions over time changed from "if" to "when."  Then we began to plan our marathon day.  I mapped out our course, we checked the weather and picked the date.

It was a great deal of walking and also a great deal of fun, especially since we kept our friends and family updated with our progress as we walked.  I think Glen had the most fun texting back and forth with our grandson Jackson. (You can read more about that day here in our post, The Unexpected Welcome.)

 Walking 58,361 steps and burning 2885 calories in the process, our course was dotted with stops at bakeries, coffee shops and the Moon Pie store.  It took us 7 hours and 37 minutes of actual walking time, although we did not stop the clock for traffic.

At the end of the day we decided we would never do it again.  Then by a month later we had decided not only to repeat our performance, but to add four miles to the course!  Thirty miles felt much different than twenty-six and again we proclaimed we would never walk that far when not hiking.

Well, you know where this is going, don't you?

In five weeks we plan to do our second walking marathon.  We will follow a certified marathon course in our city, fortunately dotted with coffee shops, bakeries, and yes, even the Moon Pie store is close by.

All this came about because we heard our spoken word and it took root in our brains and hearts.

Tee Shirts made
 by our daugther, Emmie
Such is true of the Word of God.  When we hear the Word of God it doesn't just sit in our ears, it is a tiny seed planted in our hearts and minds.  When we encourage each other in our faith, our words water that seed and the tiny plant of faith is born.  When we confess our faith to others, or encourage others, or share scripture with someone, our own ears hear our words and our hearts begin to believe those words and our faith grows.

This is one reason it is so important for us to speak the truth, not only to others but also to ourselves.  Our ears pay attention to not only what others say to us, but also what we say to others.  "Speak the truth in love," is great advice to ourselves as much as to others.

Let us resolve to speak "that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."  And grace to ourselves as well.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, 
and hearing by the word of God." 
(Romans 10:17.)

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