Stamina products 15 9200

Hello friends!

Yesterday I was on a roll! Ed and I went duck hunting in the morning, as we have for the last three years, and I finally FINALLY snapped a two year losing streak by bringing home a beautiful (and delicious) drake mallard. Oh, the feeling was overwhelming! Such joy!

And then I participated in a online bible study, where I felt like I was really starting to get a good grip on the material we were working through. I had a couple of points that seemed pretty well received, and started to imagine myself on the stage of the National Youth Workers Conventions telling people how they can be super awesome better youth pastors if they follow my three step program.

That evening, I lit a candle at the dinner table. This may not sound like much, but we typically eat our dinners on the couch while watching Futuarma or something like that, so to me it seemed as though I should receive the husband of the year award or something, as if lighting a candle was some sort of revolutionary idea.

After dinner, Sarah and I went to the gym, where I met Ed to take a spin class. I had decided a few days ago that it was time for off-season training for the summer's cycling events to finally pick up and start going somewhere, and so I thought a spin class would be no problem. I have in the past ridden 150 miles, so what could one spin class do to me?

I should have seen it coming...

To those of you who are regulars in spin classes, my hat is officially off to you. About 10 minutes into this class, I was no longer following the commands of the entirely too cheery instructor. I was just seated on the bike, pedaling a little bit, and trying to find my breath. I chugged water like a fish, and kept an eye on the clock the whole time hoping that the hour would be over soon so I could go home and not make eye contact with any of the in shape people.

I think God does a pretty good job keeping me on a short leash when it comes to pride. There aren't a whole lot of days where I think I'm the boss, I'm usually more than willing to give that title to someone else. And I don't think I let it slip into a kind of self-esteem vacuum either, where I'm getting down on myself because I don't have what it takes. I think more often than not, because of the grace of Jesus Christ, I'm exceptionally happy to admit that I don't have what it takes. I wouldn't want to.

But sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget that my life is to God's glory, and not my own. Sometimes I forget that the select few times I have a personal winning streak, it's really because either God has provided the opportunity, or God has gifted me with the skills required. Karl Barth said that all sin comes from lack of gratitude. I couldn't agree more after yesterday.

And so we search for a balance. We look for ways to realize we don't have it all together, and ways to truly ultimately come to peace about that. I am a wreck of a human being. But I am the wreck of a human being whom God loves, and pours himself into. I can live with that. Actually, I can rejoice in that. And I hope you can too.