Checking the dates I realize it has been a long time since I was here and shared some thoughts with you. As I think about life over the last month, the image of the dog riding in a car with the windows down comes to mind. You have seen them, sticking their heads out the window as the air rushes by. I always wondered what sensation they sought and received from this behavior.

But life has felt like what I imagine that feels. It has been whizzing by. Not out of control (or we hope not) and not without being productive. It has just been a rush of opportunities and we have tried to take advantage of them all. This being our first Stateside Assignment meant we had no prior experience to draw from in the planning. Colleagues have been amazed and concerned by the schedule we had set. And at times they were absolutely right, it has been grueling. When people ask where we are living, I often jest it is in the silver KIA van outside but sometimes that is not a jest.

This last Sunday was the first time since 1 October that we have left for speaking engagements without a suitcase or overnight bag in the van. It was VERY strange to drive less than 70 miles (round trip) in each direction to speak at the churches. It almost felt like cheating.

What have we learned? Some would say nothing. We can say that it is possible to over do and pour yourself out. Lucy is on her third cold and this is the most serious one yet. We do have some challenges with sleep in that we are in different beds with no fixed routine. It is possible to over do.

But can anyone pour themselves out too much for the Kingdom? What is our sacrifice in comparison to that of God and Jesus in reconciling us? What is our suffering in comparison to being unjustly and cruelly nailed to a cross? What is our pain in comparison to God seeing His innocent Son take on the sin of everyone? We must keep everything in perspective.

Yes we are not as young as we used to be and cannot keep the pace we once kept. Yes "faith" and "foolishness" both begin with the letter "f". No one is expecting us to run ourselves into martyrdom. When someone refers to me as a hero my instant response is they need higher standards for heroes. We continue to be cracked, clay pots with the heavy emphasis on the cracks. We are flawed and tend to be disobedient in over doing. Yes the American culture in us rails at the seeming lack of productivity in "being still before" and "abiding" in God. Yes, Jesus grew weary and retreated. Are we still too socialized by the American culture that we miss the principles of the Christian life? You betcha.

But we do our best realizing tomorrow is never a promise from God. Eternity with Him is, but tomorrow is a gift and not a right or certainty. So we pour ourselves out each day. I'm not sure I want to step into eternity with anything "left in the tank."

But do pray for us to have wisdom (and sometimes the common sense) to realize the difference between faith and foolishness. I want to grow in the former and leave behind the latter. 

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