Tag Archives: FINISH

Celebrating Our Stories – Words We Long to Hear…

Sue’s Note: Today’s post is written by my friend, Stephen Robinson, who has written two previous guest posts.

About five years ago, I approached Stephen after church. I knew he was a tech guy, and I knew I needed a tech guy in my life if I was going to develop a web site and write a blog. While I felt certain God was calling me to do just that, I also knew I had neither the ability nor inclination to master the technological aspect of my calling.

Stephen is one of the nicest people I’ve ever me. His patience and graciousness never cease to amaze me. His technical skills to take what I write and make my words and Ron’s photos magically appear on email and Facebook every Monday and Thursday mornings enable me to do what I love to do and feel ‘called’ to do. My friendship and professional relationship with Stephen have helped me understand how the Body of Christ functions together to accomplish the work God wants to do in our world.

I love Stephen’s transparency in this week’s two-part post. Our commitment to God and to the disciplines we’re convinced God has called us into include progress, challenge, victory and sometimes failure. In our lifetime journeys, including our journey of faith, progress is often three steps forward and two steps back.

Every step of the way, every miss and win God’s grace is more than enough!

“You Are an Ironman!”

“Well done, good and faithful servant” – Matthew 25:23

     I long to hear these are two phrases one day.

     However, as I shared in my first Listening On The Journey… post titled, Finish, I have struggled in prioritizing time in spiritual disciplines over time spent training.

     Sue has graciously offered me the chance to write about what I have been up to since completing my first half Ironman in 2018.

     I remember reading Sue’s email a few weeks ago congratulating me on completing the CDA half Ironman again this summer. While it was not easy, I had to humbly reply that I did not in fact finish this summer’s half Ironman.

     I didn’t compete in it this year. My wife gently reminded me/advised me there would be far too many family activities to even think about training. A far more exciting milestone was happening in our family. Our oldest daughter graduated from high school in June.

Stephen and his family after graduation

     If I said skipping this year’s half Ironman was easy, I would be lying.

     Taking a year off from training showed me how easy it is to become undisciplined in my spiritual development. Looking back on this year, I realize how undisciplined my time in the Word has been. Hitting snooze on my alarm is MUCH easier when I’m not training for a physical race. Less time in the morning to get ready for work often meant my time in God’s Word would have to wait, sometimes until that night, or more often than not, until a few days later.

     2019 started with the best of intentions. My wife and I agreed together we’d read the Bible in one year. I had every intention of staying disciplined in my quiet time. What I realized, though, was that without a fitness goal, I really struggled to reach my spiritual goals.

     This realization hit me hard. I began asking myself tough questions:

     Am I living to one day cross the finish line of a 140.6 full Ironman to hear the words, “Stephen Robinson, You Are an Ironman! OR,

     Am I living to daily die to self and serve the King of Kings?

     Has my life become about reaching physical fitness goals OR growing in my spiritual journey?

     I yearn to one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” I ask myself another sobering question:

     Anything less and what am I living for?

     I’m reminded of this uncomfortable truth. All the medals on my dresser don’t mean anything if they come at the sacrifice of my time spent with God.

     In my follow-up post on Thursday, I’ll discuss how I plan to re-start both my training for the next CDA Half Ironman and jumpstart my spiritual discipline as well.

     I hope you’ll join me for Part 2!

     Stephen Robinson

FINISH!

Note from Sue: Today’s post is written by a man who’s very important to me. Stephen Robinson helped me set up my website (www.suereeve.com)and manages the Listening on the Journey…blog posts. Without Stephen, I would not be able to accomplish my dream of writing words encouraging folks to pursue their journey of faith.

When Stephen told me about all he’s been learning in his journey of faith while training for the Coeur d’Alene Iron Series, I asked him if he would be willing to write a guest post.

I know you’ll be challenged and inspired by Stephen’s words today. I certainly have been! I encourage you to remember to say a prayer for my friend as he runs his first marathon in a couple days.

Stephen, I’m so very proud of you and will be praying for you and cheering you on! Blessings on this very important segment of your journey!

FINISH!

     That was the word the Lord put on my heart when I prayed He would give me a word to focus on this year. Since I had never prayed this way before, I did not know what to expect. Nor, did I realize what a journey was about to unfold in my heart and in my soul.

     While I was waiting on the Lord for a word, I was also busy planning a training regimen for my first Coeur d’Alene Iron Series. This is all 3 Ironman distance events-2.4-mile swim, 108-mile bike and 26.2-mile run—spread out over the summer. I knew it would take hours and hours of training to finish the Iron Series. Working full time meant I needed to train in the mornings, sometimes as long as 4 -6 hours. This didn’t leave much time to spend in God’s Word. In spite of my training demands, I landed on a goal, which became my prayer:

“May my overall physical fitness be a reflection of my spiritual fitness.”

     It was while I tried to figure out my workout routine, how I would fit in running, swimming and biking every week, the Lord put the word “finish” on my heart. I felt God gave me the following challenge:

“If you don’t have time to finish reading the Bible every morning, then you don’t have time to finish your training.”

     This sentence became my mantra, and what a ride it has been so far! I started January 1, 2017 and have not looked back.

     I admit I haven’t stuck to the discipline every day. I have had a handful of days where I fell short. It has, nevertheless, been an amazing journey.

     “Finish” means I am often up between 4:30 and 5:00 because I want to finish my time in the Word so I can go finish my training. This has not been easy, but the discipline has included rewards.

     The Lord began to reveal some very exciting things in my heart and in my soul I would have missed if I had not been in His word daily. As I began to add miles to my training runs, with a goal of finishing my first marathon this Sunday, May 28th, the Lord began to fill me with His Word and reveal to me His plans for my life and also how much He loves you and me. He gave me revelations from the scripture I had just read, and journaled about, that I would have missed if I had not finished my time in His Word first.

     As my first event, the CDA Marathon, quickly approaches, I reflect on the first part of this year and some of the verses imprinted on my heart, which I would like to share with you.

Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

The Lord revealed to me through this verse, we must be willing to follow Him without looking back. We must be all in to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

“I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.” – Luke 12:8

We must be bold in our faith and in all places and circles of influence, acknowledge Jesus and share our story with those who may not know Him.

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” – Mark 8:36

This verse is a reminder to me when I get high centered on the things of this world and lose sight of what is really important, serving our King.

Here is one of my favorite training pictures from this Spring. My youngest daughter came out to run with me and bring me water on a day I ran out of water. I couldn’t reach my goals without the love and support of my wife and family.

     Thank you for reading this post. I look forward to sharing more about my spiritual journey as I finish my first marathon this Sunday and prepare for my next goal, the Coeur d’Alene Crossing (2.4 mile swim) on Lake Coeur d’Alene in August.

Blessings,

Stephen Robinson

Save