Sunday, July 20, 2008

Persistence

Shhh, don't tell anyone but I didn't go to church this morning. There is nothing wrong with me but my wife and I spent all day yesterday just hanging out and I am a just bit tired. Now before you all start in on me the Bible says that we are no longer bound to the law. In this case the law being that you "have to" go to church every Sunday. If that were so then it would be our deeds that get us into heaven and those of us that did the best deeds would assuredly be saved, right? Not so fast Homey because the Apostle Paul says that it is faith alone (not works) that does the trick. So let's get back to what I really wish to say.

After I got up, I got on the Internet to check my e-mail and play an Internet card game. Have you ever played an Internet card game? My favorite game is Internet Spades. In this game you are paired with a teammate from around the world and the main objective is to get to 500 points before your opponents. In order to gain points you and your partner determine how many points you will make on each hand. It is a contract system, kind of like bid whist for those that majored in it while attending college or bridge for our upscale listeners. There are different levels of expertise (beginner, intermediate & expert). I play at the expert level because I am pretty good.

I have found it interesting to observe the number of players that will quit the game if they do not achieve their bid. I would guess that the percentage of those that quit the game is 75% or higher. This fact leads me to think about the game of life and the number of those that dropout if they fail to obtain an objective.

It reminds me of one of my past experiences. After graduating from the University of Texas, I was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. While attending The Basic School (a 6-month training course for new Marine Officers) in Quantico Virginia I determined that I wanted to become a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) and fly in fast moving combat jet aircraft.

When I got to flight school in Pensacola Florida I found out that I had to pass a water survival test in order to move from ground school to a flying status. Nobody ever told me that because this native of Chicago, Illinois did not know how to swim.

Well, I promptly began to learn how to swim. Every day for approximately 5 weeks I would go to the pool after class to practice what was needed to pass the water survival portion of my training. This test included treading water for 15 minutes as well as swimming one mile both while in a flight suit.

To make a long story short when the day of the big test came, I failed it "bigger than Dallas". I was disappointed and momentarily thought that maybe flying was not for me. After working through my disappointment I analyzed the portions of the test that I failed and determined to make them my strengths. I was given 2 weeks to pass the test and then did so with flying colors and went on to earn my "wings of gold".

This leads me to ask, "What areas of our lives do we need to improve in order to walk closer to God?" The bible says that David was a man after God's own heart, but even he had huge short comings (lust and murder to name a few). However David persevered in his walk with God and I believe was rewarded with a heavenly home.

My point here is no matter what you are going through "Do Not Quit" because the goal of spending eternity with God is worth it.

Just think, all of this because I did not go to church this morning and played an Internet card game. Who would have figured it?

Peace,

Al

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I truly enjoyed reading this message - Al, please keep up the excellent work that God has equipped you with to share at this very moment to help others that are dealing with many stressfull situations and times in their lives. Be encouraged, daily!!
Remain Prayerful,