Hey Guys!

Here is your Thought for Thursday By now I am sure you are all ready for the heat and humidity to go away. I am. I’m more fan of fall, yes for the football, but the crisp air, the lack of humidity. So since we have been pummeled by heat, humidity and the seemingly never ending days of a thunder storm or two… I will share a snow story for you. I wouldn’t mind some snow about now. But with snow comes snow shoveling. Shoveling snow and spiritual growth have a lot in common. No – really they do. A few years ago I was taring at my drive way early in the morning, I wondered who would get out there and remove the some 11 inches of powder. Hum…? Maybe I could get my teenage son to do it. Yeah, right.

I wasn’t looking forward to it but it had to be done. I grabbed my coat and gloves, took my shovel and started at my front door. Ok, not to bad – sort of “powdery”, not to difficult. This will be easier than I thought.First by the door, then down the short sidewalk, it was going pretty well. I looked back and could see some progress. I was tempted to say – “Wow, that was good… guess I’m done, I’ll go back in and get some coffee.” But I turned around and the snow on the driveway and the snow piled on the cars wasn’t moving or melting. Well – I figured I would have to keep moving on, keep shoveling, and keep working. So, I took the shovel and pressed forward. It took along time and I was working up a good sweat. Who knew that powdery snow would weigh so much.

Several times I wished a big snow plow would come along and just knock it out for me. Wouldn’t that be easier for me, wouldn’t that be great? I mean, I would certainly be appreciative. But nope, no snow plow – I pressed on.After about two hours, yes two hours, my neighbor walked by and suggested that I might want to stop because I probably wouldn’t be able to walk in the morning – frankly I think he was just jealous at how good I was a shoveling snow and that his wife might make him shovel their drive. I digress. But I pressed on. And soon I was done, so I thought. I still wished the snow plow would come by and “finish up” the edges. I just left those for later hoping the sun would finally do its stinking job and melt it.Anyway, I took a break, a long break. Even took a nap. I tried to ignore that there was a foot of snow on my deck that really needed to be removed. Yet, the more I looked satisfactorily at the front the more I realized that I couldn’t put off shoveling the back. So off I went. About every three shovels full I would say – “ok, I am done…” but I had to continue. I couldn’t let it go undone. I had to press on.By the way – that snow plow I had been wanting to come by – did – and well, it wasn’t what I thought it would be (they actually messed up some of my work). Ok – here is the tie in. If you call yourself a “spiritual person” (as Christians should be), it doesn’t come by staring at life and hoping the path will just open before you. Look at what Jesus said – “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23 If you want to be a truly spiritual person, a person whose life doesn’t just follow spiritual stuff but where God is clearing a path to eternity…There it is… you can’t stand at the door and say you are a follower. You have to BE a follower. You have to carry your own cross – that is YOU are responsible for YOU. No one can come in and “plow” away the things that hinder your growth – God gives you the “shovel” (His Word) – he gives you the strength (His Spirit) but Jesus says YOU have to take them up, and it has to be daily. Don’t let someone try to discourage you on your path; they may be jealous when they see your growth and try to get you to stop.

Don’t expect some “Christian Event” to make you a spiritual giant, it may move you and that’s good – but life isn’t an event – it’s a journey.

The journey starts at the “door” – Jesus Christ. The path of being a Christian isn’t easy but you can look back and see real life changing results. Denying the temptation to ignore what needs to be done doesn’t make for growth, it doesn’t clear your path, it takes a daily “shoveling.”Be willing to press on – Be dedicated – Be daily