“We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.” 2 Corinthians 6:9-10
I read these verses last weekend, because I was struggling. I was frustrated, and I didn’t know what caused this emotion. I decided to pray. To pray a real prayer. A “I’m-gonna-cry-until-my-eyes-are-red” prayer. A “I’m-not-making-any-sense” prayer. Yet, God knew what I was trying to say.
Once I finished talking to God, I looked through the Bible and stopped at Paul’s words. I admire Paul, because he still served God throughout all of his trials. This man was beaten, jailed, and shipwrecked. Yet, he possessed joy.
As you may know from my last post of 2015, I decided that I would cultivate more joy in my life in 2016. I vowed to read the Word more and to embrace hangouts with family and friends. I feel as though I have made some progress with the goal. I am reading the Word more, and I am excited when I have my family/ friend chill times.
But last weekend, I was overwhelmed with the goal. I questioned my ability to focus on it. I wondered if it was pointless. I wanted to know if I would continue to take two steps forward and one step back. But worthwhile goals must be endured. They require work.
As it is only February, I should not be disappointed with myself for the small progress that I have made. I should celebrate what I have done.
I used to hear my dad say “You have to crawl before you walk.” When a baby is born, he does not immediately walk. He usually experiences milestones such as laying on his tummy, rolling over, creeping, crawling, and finally walking. His mama cheers with him at each milestone. When baby takes his wobbly first steps, he is afraid. Mama is clapping her hands and shouting “C’mon! You can do it!” Baby is whining for Mama’s help.
Eventually, baby walks with boldness. He explores under the table. He bangs pots and pans under the sink. For baby, walking equals expansion and creativity.
Expansion is slow for me, but it is happening.
How are y’all doing with your goals so far? Please let me know so we can pray and support each other!
And take a listen to one of my favorite Mavis Staples’ songs. A few years ago, my friend JH and I saw Ms. Staples in concert, and she rocked out with her warm, deep voice.