Today, my church got away from the lectionary and did a themed service around the idea of encouragement. It got me thinking about how things are going in my life, and how blessed I am by the people around me. I am trying to give back, to show my appreciation for the love shown to me. I am faced with some big decisions right now about my career and the life ahead of me. The people around me are helping me by praying that God will guide me to where he wants me to work. Many of them have confessed some internal conflict on the matter, since they want us to stay but know that job success may very well lead me away. I appreciate their honesty in this. It is part of why I consider them friends.
I keep thinking of one of the scripture passages from today: Hebrews 12:1-2:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God."
I am running a race with forks in the path. I pray that I stay on course, because I fear I've drifted somewhat away from my purpose.
I've gotten a couple of new readers, and they, too, are encouraging to me. Two of my students who have heard me talk about exploring my thoughts in writing, often pointing to this blog as an example, wanted to read, and I gave them the address. Occasionally, I stumble onto something profound or deep, but a lot of this is just my process for doing a mental inventory--what was I thinking about today, sort of thing. So, for those of you still reading, thank you for the encouragement you give me.