Monday, December 03, 2007

The Path of Endurance

(Read 2 Peter 1:1-11)

Every parent of a teenager knows about endurance - passing those long moments in the night, waiting to hear the sound of the front door opening and closing, so you can finally go to sleep in peace and assurance that they are home.

Every kid knows about endurance during this time of year, as they struggle to be so good that it hurts, as they slowly 'x' out each day on the calendar leading up to the morning when they no longer have to keep their hands off the presents under the tree.

Every patient knows how to define endurance, as you wait out those days, which seem to last an eternity, from the time a test is taken until you hear back from the lab with the results.

Peter says that endurance is one of the foundational stones which supports our faith. And he certainly knew about that truth, didn't he? Impulsive to a fault, he had to learn that Jesus did indeed know what he was talking about. Graced with that all-too familiar faculty to open his mouth only to change feet, he had to find a way to keep his mouth shut at times, so his ears could be open. Eager to leap before he looked (and it didn't seem to matter what he was jumping into), he had to develop the ability to look down at his feet to make sure they were on the right path.

Endurance is one of those paths God would teach us to walk during this time of Advent. Hopefully, we can find the tenacity to learn.

Prayer: God-who-walks-with-us, you were willing to endure our foolish and willful disobedience, until the right time came to put on our flesh and to teach us your ways. Help us to have that faith that is grounded in endurance, especially in this season when we want to rush to Bethlehem. Amen.

(c) 2007 Thom M. Shuman

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