Friday, February 26, 2010

lace up with joy

I am fascinated by ice skating. I have to tell you when I was a little girl, I don't know how many times after watching these beautiful women grace the ice floor, I too was skating through the house. If I am honest I will share I still grace my living room floor from time to time.
There is just something so beautiful and transparent about ice skating. Those who do so make it look so easy, just as if all you must do is put on the skates and glide out to the ice and there you have it!

I have tried to skate. As I put on those skates for the first time I thought,"Wow, this is going to be great!!" I am not sure what I was thinking really. I thought as I placed those skates on my feet I would just take off and spin. The tricks our imagination plays on us can at times get us hurt. I could not skate if my life depended on it. I fell flat on my face. I held on to the side and made my way around while others skated by me at least four or five times. It was indeed a sad show. But you know what? I had a ball! It wasn't that I couldn't do it, it was the joy of trying. It was the joy of falling, laughing and getting right back up again. Needless to say my skating career as never taken off, and it never will. I am okay with that. That is not a gift God has given me, but He has blessed me with others. And I am blessed with the gift to watch others skate and enjoy the emotion they put into grabbing my attention.

Last night as I watched the Olympics, my heart went out to the young Canadian skater who lost her mother a few days ago. To watch her was just sheer beauty and elegance. As her heart was breaking she skated with nothing less than her pure heart and love for her mother. She skated with such passion and it is one that I will not forget soon.

But the girl who really grabbed my heart was the young skater from Japan. As she stood there knowing she had lost the gold, that it was not enough for her or her country tore me apart. The look in her eyes broke my heart. Even though she won a silver medal, the announcers were concerned that her country would not accept her graciously. Nothing but the best for them, and anything but gold is useless.

This young girl skated and did things no other women in skating has ever done before. She skated with her heart, and after all the training, all the long hours, she gave it her all. But was it good enough? Did she receive hugs, and love from those around her? Was she embraced by her family and countrymen? I think the look in her eye told it all. She had not, and she knew what was coming. Nothing. Nothing for all her hard work, for sharing her gift, and loving being on the ice. I was in tears watching her.

Have you ever felt like you gave it your all and it still wasn't good enough? Have you felt like you reached out and nothing is coming in return? There are times when we can be harder on ourselves than others are on us. But there are those who make us feel like whatever we do is still not good enough to place. We feel like all our efforts are useless and in vain. But are they really?

When we give it our all, when we love what we are doing, and we know this is our gift, all we really have to consider is, "Am I pleasing God?" At the end of our journey, all those fans, those countrymen, those friends, and those who see us daily will not be there standing to judge us. There will be no judge there from Russia criticising every move we made. There will only be God before us. To hear Him say, "Well done my good and faithful servant", are words my heart longs to hear.

At the end of the day I can look back and see if I gave the day my all. If I gave my day to God and lived in faith and without fear I can lay my head down at night, knowing He is pleased with me. In our Christian walk we will never be perfect until heaven. We will none just get it all right. We will stumble and we will fall, but in faith, we can get back up, and try again.

I am learning that what I do doesn't have to please anyone else. It doesn't matter if anyone reads my blog, or sees my writing. What matters is that I am following what the Lord has placed in my heart. It matters that I love writing. That I love sharing, and in that I can take joy. As I sit back and know the Lord is working through me, I can be moved speechless.

At times I wonder why the Lord would use me. Why has He chosen me to love. But I am reminded that He created me, He created me with His very hands, and filled me with the Holy Spirit to love and bring Him glory. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by a God who loves me. Just in that we can find a humble beauty.

I would love to take this young Japanese girl in my arms and tell her how beautifully she skated. I would tell her its not the gold, silver or bronze that makes her special, it is in fact that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. I would tell her there is no such thing as perfect, but there is a pureness in finding joy in the very things that God has placed in our hearts.

Live out today with the acceptance of the Lord. Live out today knowing that through Christ we are made perfect in Him. Whatever dream He has placed in your heart, live it out with all the beauty He has filled you with. So, lace up, get out there and enjoy the life the Lord has given, and live it to the fullest, finding joy in the gifts that the Lord has given just for you.

Psalm 139:14 "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well."

James 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."

1 Corinthians 9:24-25 "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown."
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