Let Me Be Frank… 10-2-19

Count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James 1:2-4

Caden started cross-country this year.  He is running at the junior varsity level (as an eighth grader) and we couldn’t be more proud of him.  He’s pretty athletic.  He’s pretty ambitious.  And he’s pretty determined.  He’s running at a really great pace.  He’s finally found his niche.
At the beginning of the year he loved the sport.  He loved running.  But somewhere along the way he began to lose heart.  He wasn’t winning races.  In fact, he wasn’t even placing.  That’s where the dad conversation comes in.
“Caden, you aren’t going to be good at everything automatically.  There are some things that are going to come easy for you and there are things that you will have to work really hard for.  Don’t get down on yourself and don’t give up.  Sometimes the things that are the most difficult are the things worth fighting for.”
If only I would take my own advice… 
We get so frustrated at ourselves for not being “better” immediately.  We long for the easy button in life and wish our problems away.  But James, speaking simply, says “Count it all joy when you meet trials of various kinds.”  Because, sometimes the things that are the most difficult are the things worth fighting for.
I can’t get better at running if I never run.  But all too often we just assume that faith will come naturally.  We’re ambitious.  We’re determined.  And we think that’s enough.  But when we run the race of life, the Holy Spirit does the work.  We just run.  That means we have to listen and respond as we grow deeper in our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
There will be trials.  There will be tests.  There will be times when you want to throw in the towel.  But the testing of our faith produces steadfastness.  My favorite image is of waves crashing against a lighthouse.  That’s steadfast.  That’s immovable.  Know what you believe, listen for His Voice,  and run your race.  
I love having kids.  They push me to be better every single day.  Caden is going to compete tomorrow and, win or lose, we couldn’t be more proud.
Don’t give up.  Encourage others along the way.  And when things don’t come easy, don’t quit.  Let steadfastness have its full effect in you. 

We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER!