The Test of Time

Ten hours of black asphalt, headlights, and exit signs and a van stuffed with tote bags, a pack n play, stroller, blankets, and snacks.

Ten hours of thinking, singing, praying, talking, wondering…

I’ve discovered my limitations when driving alone with two small kids: Starting out is exciting and the halfway pit-stop of straddling into the convenience store holding one kid on my hip and the hand of another is still possible to do with a smile. But the last two hours of driving… “Arg, make it stop!”

Confession: through the years, I’ve adapted some simple guidelines when it comes to interstate driving. I am neither a fast driver, nor a slow driver but I like to go an even 10 mph over the speed limit, unless of course I could nestle myself around a few out of state drivers who are easily going 20 over…But my limit is 80 mph (for insurance purposes). 🙂

Those dreadful last couple of hours, where I’m starting to feel numb, my eyes are glazing over, and my thumbs are anxiously tapping on the steering wheel, I’m tempted to go faster. Make this trip over! Feel the relief of standing up and walking… Getting to close my eyes for more than three seconds…

Why is it that time feels slower, pain levels accelerate, and patience flies out the window when we’re nearing the end?

Let me ask you this, what does it mean to be faithful and what does it look like? If we merely start out on a journey, determined to persevere, at what point are we considered to be faithful? An athlete running the race, whether a marathon or the 100 meter, begins strong and determined, confident and courageous. But if he quits halfway, or even 9/10 of the way, he’s no longer faithful. Time is always the test of true faithfulness.

It’s easy to talk the talk about being faithful. Social media is overflowing with faithfulness talk, but so few of us actually persevere once weariness, pain, or even boredom sets in. Our faithfulness is being fueled by the accolade of men and once that stops, well, it’s time to look for a new adventure to gain back attention so that we feel faithful.

Christians can often mistake true faithfulness with talk about being faithful. We toot our own horn about all that we can do and the talents we have, couching them in religious words so as not to sound haughty. In a world that’s fast-paced, ultra-informed, virtual everything, it becomes easy to bounce from interest to interest, swaying wherever the winds blow, seeking for the approval and praise of man. This is our human nature.

Faithfulness, as God sees it, is a rare thing.

The woman who sets her course, onward and upward, living her days surrendered, not giving way to worldly trends or to the pressure to achieve some amazing thing; one who is willing to take each day, each step at a time with grace, no matter the discomfort or lack of praise from others… This is faithfulness lived out.

I like to think of myself as strong and capable and faithful (and I like other’s to think that about me, too). Yet when the pressure is on and my mind gets bored with the mundane, I discover whether I’m really committed or not.

I was tempted to speed through construction zones and hurry around semi-trucks. I was ready to quit and the thought of getting a ticket or crashing the car almost eluded my thoughts about safety.

God’s grace – Him giving me undeserved wisdom and strength – enables me to be faithful… through the discouraging times, on the days I’m sick or exhausted, during the moments of victory and success and even when I’m bound to the boring day-to-day chores of life. Grace helps me finish strong and to not quit even when others around me are quitting. Our ability to actively be faithful only comes from God. Faithful is HE that calleth you, who also will do it. [1 Thess. 5:24] The moment our motives for faithfulness becomes “do others see” we become weak, tempted to quit or change coarse, and are ultimately ineffective in our journey.

Today’s a new day. You’ve set your course. There are road blocks ahead. You may feel tired, defeated, bored, or overwhelmed…Will you be faithful until the end?


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