This week is a pilgrimage (or it could be…)

 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.

Hebrews 12:1-2
– author Derek Maul

Happy Monday, friends! I know those two words don’t easily fit together for many people, but I have always seen this day as a unique opportunity to set the tone for the week in terms of trajectory. Fact is, how we launch has everything to do with where we end up, especially when we are proactive.

Of course, a great Sunday can go a long way towards a positive Monday morning. Sunday helps put the coming week in perspective, and the relationship Rebekah and I cultivate with a worshipping community is critically important. Healing, inspiration, encouragement, instruction.

For me at this particular moment in my life, it’s the healing part that resonates the most. The older I get the more I realize that we are not divided into body, mind, and spirit so much as we are integrated. When we work on (or neglect), say, physical health, there are repercussions intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. There is a sense in which each and every strand is related to each and every other facet. We are whole and we cannot be subdivided.

– Rebekah leading the prayer at HMPC yesterday

Like the “prayers of the people” Sunday morning. It is impossible to listen to Rebekah pray and not experience how completely the Spirit penetrates our being when we allow ourselves to be absorbed into the presence of God.

My relationship with God, then, is not something that sits apart as an optional, add on, “after-market,” or discretionary aspect of who Derek Maul is – it is integral and necessary to the complete picture. My spiritual life in a sense sharpens me intellectually; rounds me out, emotionally; balances me, physically.

I am a more complete person when I am more intentional about my spiritual journey.

I am healthier, in every aspect, when I follow Jesus.

In pastor Mac’s message yesterday, he talked about having a clear focus. This week, then, is a pilgrimage. Each morning, as we wake up and embrace the gift of a new day, marks another opportunity to walk along the way.

As for me, I’m not sure that I can effectively put one foot in front of the other if I fail to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. It’s a matter of balance, of clarity, of being a more complete person.

So “let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” – DEREK

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