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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beating the Statistics

I was told an interesting statistic from a 10 year old boy who takes karate lessons. 

He said that his instructor lined up the boys in his class and said, "Did you know that only 1 out of 5 students in karate make it to black belt?  Now, who's going to beat the statistics?"

With a determined look in his eye, the boy then looked at me and said, "I'm gonna be the 1 out of 5!"

I've seen this kind of statistic before.  For every 5 students that take piano lessons, maybe only 3 continue after level one.  They quit before they have even really started.

The statistic is probably seen across the board:  Dieting and exercising. Completing a project. (How many unfinished quilts are out there?) A book half written.  For whatever reason, individuals give up.  They don't endure to the end.  With reasonable excuses, they abandon their goal.  They lose interest.  They are distracted, lazy, or just plain discouraged.  They drop it and walk away.

If we are not careful, our walk of Faith is susceptible to abandonment as well.  We might start out well.  Like running a marathon, we begin with much excitement and --  might I say -- faith in ourselves.  We say things like "I'll never give up!  I'll never stop following Jesus!  Look at me?  Do I look like someone who's going to abandon their faith??" 

But, the journey is long.  The road is winding.  The hills can get steep and the forest is as dark as night.  In it, we can begin to question.  We can start to wonder if all this is even worth it?  We start to reason that it might be better to turn back than push forward and keep our commitment -- following Him to the very end.  In a word, we simply want to quit.

The good news in all of this is that there is more than one party that has made a Commitment.  It is not just us that signed the Agreement.  With blood from his own Hands, our Friend has signed a Covenant with us that promises He will NEVER give up on us.  He will NEVER quit.  And, if He sees us fading in the desert heat, He will pick us up from the scorching sand and carry us to the finish line Himself.  HE makes us winners.  HE keeps us going.  And, as we keep our eyes on Him and realize our complete reliance on His Grace, HE'S the One that helps us beat the statistics!


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