Today at The Gathering we completed our first series of the year, “4 Dumbest Things We Do During Down Times,” with installment number four, “We Wait It Out and Get Left Behind.”
This is a talk about the true meaning of patience; that virtue that sees us through down times. An awfully lot of people misunderstand what patience is. So we talked about three things it isn’t.
1. Patience is not laziness.
2. Patience is not passivity; just sitting around and doing nothing and waiting for the world to act on you.
3. Patience is not resignation. The whole fatalistic whatever will be will be attitude isn’t backed up by a single verse in sacred Scripture.
Patience is what we need during this global transformation; the patience to understand these three things:
1. Life isn’t a marathon, so you need to pace yourself. It isn’t the fastest off the starting block or the fastest in the first three miles. A marathon is a full 26 miles plus. It’s living well and finishing well. And you have to do that at your own pace.
2. Since life is about advancing one day at a time, you need to learn to brace yourself. We don’t advance without opposition; without periods of failure, of reverse. No one wins every time. No one hits the ball every time they come up to bat. You need to learn how to face adversity and turn it into an advantage. This is so important I wrote an entire book on it entitled, “The Power To Prevail.”
3. Since life is about getting back up once you’ve been knocked down, you learn to grace yourself. By that I mean, a lot of times the dumb things that happen to us, we do to ourselves. So we need to learn to accept and receive the grace we give to other people. This is absolutely essential.
This series completes the month of January in a brand new year. It’s hard to believe that the first month of 2009 is already gone. But this could be your best year yet if you follow the insight that comes from the sacred Scripture that we’ve dealt with over the last four weeks. If you’re not aware, a free CD of each message is available at the end of every service. The only thing we ask you to do is pass it along to someone else when you’re done so The Word can get out.
As I announced this morning, next weekend Paula and I will be taking our first weekend away from The Gathering and I’ve invited Dr. Stephen Mansfield to speak. One of the most prolific authors in our time, an exceptional speaker, and an even better person, Stephen has been a great friend over the years. Make sure you bring someone with you to enjoy this gifted teacher next week at The Gathering at both the 9:00 and 10:30 services.