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Throwing Off the Blanket October 1, 2009

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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It feels a little chilly in here… does it feel chilly where you’re at?  Think a blanket would feel good right now?

When the weather starts to turn cold, that’s the first thing you think of, isn’t it?  You want to get warm, so you can feel better.

I’m the same way.  To me there’s nothing better than a nice cup of warm tea, and a nice, soft blanket on a chilly day.

 There are other things, though, that can be “chilly,” such as reality.  We call it the “cold, hard truth.”

And if you’re not careful, facing the cold facts of reality can get you discouraged.  And if you pay attention to discouragement too long, it can persuade you to just… quit.

See, I’m STILL preparing for this lighthouse run.  But I went through six weeks of stressful situations and long road trips, while dealing with my mom’s situation, so I didn’t get to exercise during those weeks, and I didn’t eat properly either.  I lost my momentum, and I put on some weight. 

The reality is… I didn’t stick to my eating plan.  The reality is… I allowed myself to indulge in things that I knew I shouldn’t have, such as ice cream.  The reality is… I didn’t take the time to exercise, and I could have.  The cold harsh reality is… I dropped the ball.

I have 8 pounds to lose, to get back to where I was.  They aren’t coming off easily, and I’m eating and exercising like I should.  But the “chill” of what I’ve allowed to happen to myself, is enough to get me discouraged.

Discouragement is like a blanket, that wraps around you, soft and warm, and whispers in your ear, “Eh, why try? You’ll only end up failing anyway.  Besides, it’s not important.  No one’s gonna notice if you succeed or not.  No one cares anyway.  This is pointless.”

Discouragement CAN be fought off, however, if you keep the prize in view.

I love the movie “Apollo 13” because it gives a clear example of keeping the prize in view.  In the movie, Tom Hanks peers out the window of the lunar module at the earth, as he contemplates how to perform a “burn” of the command module’s engine to get them back on course.  He tells the people at the Control Center in Houston that he can accomplish the burn and get the command module where it needs to be, just by keeping the earth in the  center of the window.  It’s a very tense moment in the lives of three astronauts and a host of NASA personnel, but they get it to work.

All by keeping the earth — the prize — in the window.

So I have to keep the prize — the picture of doing this lighthouse run — in the window of my mind.  That’s what gets me back on course, and motivates me to go forward.  It keeps me focused on the everyday steps for getting to that prize, such as pushups, sit-ups, leg raises, stretches to do, miles to jog, and weights to lift.

You too may have a goal that you’re shooting for, and things have happened to thwart your efforts.  Sometimes it’s circumstances beyond your control.  Sometimes you make choices that aren’t the best choices.  The prize is still out there, but the cold harshness of reality has put a “chill” on your enthusiasm.  And discouragement is approaching, trying to wrap itself around you… 

Stop!  Throw the blanket off!

Let me share with you a comment made by a writer friend of mine, to another aspiring writer who was discouraged over the “cold reality” of not achieving her word count goal.  Things had happened, and she had fallen behind.  His comment was, “you’ve already typed more than you would have if you had never started, right?  So you’ve achieved what you’ve achieved up to this point.  Why quit now?  If you quit, then you lose everything you’ve done up to this point.”

He’s right.  The progress you’ve made so far, is more than enough reason to keep going.

You don’t need that blanket, you know?  Granted, reality sometimes can be chilly, or even cold.  But instead of wrapping yourself up in discouragement, get the prize back in the window! Get yourself refocused — it’s not over yet! Whatever progress you’ve made up to this point, that’s all the more reason to keep going.  You haven’t lost your chance, and you haven’t failed at anything.  The prize, the goal, is still out there.

As for me?  Don’t need a blanket.  I’ve already exercised today, and I’m not feeling chilly at all.  🙂

 

Today’s Cookie Crumb:

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, All you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24

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