Tag Archives: Proverbs

In stillness lies victory

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. -Exodus 14:14

Have you ever experienced the kind of moral failure that kept you up at night wondering how it came to this?

I believe it is quite possible to try with all your might to follow the Path you believe is right (maybe the path that will lead you home?), and yet to find after a time that you have no idea where you are and even less of an idea of where the path went.

What I mean is: a man can endeavor to live by principles he believes are unfailingly right and wake up one day seeing clearly that he is caught in behavior or patterns of behavior that are blatantly in conflict with those principles. I think when the man looks back, he will often see a small wrong turn–maybe caused by a flick of the head that distracted him enough that his feet veered ever so slightly on an angle. Geometricians know full well that any angle is enough. A one degree shift now may still leave you on the the path, but in eternity it will have moved you infinitely away from it. One degree is all it takes, one turn of the head.

***
I recently counseled a friend who confessed an epic failure to me; the kind that can cause guilt that will rot the bones if left un-addressed. And the rotting had already begun. He was doubting his faith and did not believe that God could love him–or still love him, anyways. Perhaps his failure was too great.

We started by talking about grace and the great love of God–the importance of making that a reality in his life again. But during the course of our conversation, we also discussed getting back to some basic disciplines–fighting the war on all the little fronts. In a form, the idea is that constant vigilance is the only hope we have of staying on the path. Little victories will lead to ultimate success. But “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest and (moral?) poverty will come on you like a bandit and (character?) scarcity like an armed man” (Prov 24:33-34). Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep…

Yeah right.

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Freedom in discipline

In the 30 years I’ve been a runner I’ve run more than 150,000 miles. Still, some of the hardest steps I take are those first few getting out the door for daily runs. –Bill Rodgers, Lifetime Running Plan

Are you drinking enough water? —my Dad, upon your acknowledgement of any feeling of ill health

Are you exercising? —my Dad, upon your acknowledgement of any feeling of ill health (if the above is answered in the affirmative).

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity liked an armed man. —Proverbs 6:10-11

It’s been a bit of a broken week for me.  On the heels of being out of the office Tuesday to Friday last week, I was in briefly Monday, only to head to the airport in the afternoon—work stacking up  but trumped by more travel.  On top of that, my Chicago Marathon training was scheduled to start this week. Having taken time off after Boston, with the plan to let my body heal and adjust my running form, I’ve lost almost all of my hard earned fitness, am using very different muscles to run and have what amounts to a relatively short period left to prepare.

The net result is that I have learned to dread running again.  I have slowed my pace at times to nearly 2 minutes slower than my goal pace, labored over short runs, walked, blistered and bled.  My legs have hurt in muscles I didn’t know I had, and I am often back to limping down stairs again.  I just saw this morning that I have toe nails that are dying.

It’s so easy to forget how hard it is to get started.  Running 70 miles a week is easier than the first few runs after a break.

About a month ago, I also started a Bible in a Year reading program, which requires that I read 4 chapters per day on average.  I’m behind on this as well, watching my estimated day of completion slip over time and struggling to get caught up.

I realize these don’t seem like major events, and in the grand scheme of things, they are not…not in and of themselves anyway.  But, when my personal disciplines fade, I become grumpy, stressed and disquieted.  And it’s usually a viscous cycle for me. I start to dread runs more and attach too much significance to each run. I procrastinate on my Quiet Time (my Bible reflection and prayer). I sleep later than I should, my diet deteriorates and my alcohol consumption climbs. Then I start rescheduling my week (problem solving at its best), trying to figure out where I’ll make it all up.  Problem is, Wednesday’s run become 8 miles instead of 6, Thursday’s rest day goes away—and the next thing I know I’m in bed sick from late night cookies, dehydrated from one too many beers, trying to figure out if I can even run 8 miles any more!

Then I start beating myself up and/or making excuses.  In this case, I have been almost to the point of quitting on Chicago this year.
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Welcome to inklingz

Thanks for visiting Inklingz.net.  I am a seminary dropout currently working in finance, with a lot of interest in politics, music, fiction and long-distance running, so anything could happen here.  My hope is that we can have an exchange in this space on these topics and others–maybe even some issues of real consequence–and some fun as well.  

I do not believe all views are equally true, but I do believe in respecting the views of others.  Some of you may be experts on topics addressed here, so you may know far more than I.  I hope that you will offer your viewpoints, will disagree with me, correct me and discuss with me (and with one another through use of the comment section). I believe the exchange of thoughts and ideas is very important and probably too infrequent for most of us.  

The title of this blog is derived from the name of a group of friends and authors known as The Inklings who met together throughout the 1930s and 40s.  They gathered for drinks regularly to review one another’s writings.   Two of my favorite thinkers were central to the group: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien once wrote of the Inklings, “Had an outsider eavesdropped, he would have thought it a meeting of fell enemies hurling deadly insults before drawing their guns.” (Letters, p.103).  Honest exchange and critique can be daunting, yet these men came together as friends week after week to clank their glasses together as well as their minds.  Partly through that exchange, they produced great works still prized by readers a generation (two?) later. I believe that in the clanking, we are able sharpen one another ‘as iron sharpens iron’ (Proverbs 27:17).  I am most grateful for the friends in my life with whom the clanking of minds and ideas does not preclude the repeated clanking of glasses.  

Since you have made it this far, I encourage you to catalyze the conversation by commenting on posts that interest you.