Rise and Shine!
Greetings from The Front Porch!
One by one they arrived on The Front Porch. The crust of sleep barely off their eyelids, “it seemed like a good idea at the time,” came from one of the voices in the group in regards to their yes just days before.
If we were in the middle of the country I believe a rooster would have been crowing at the very moment we chose to step of the sidewalk and into the street.
Rise and shine, 6:30AM, fun run from The Front Porch, why? Because 85% of life’s problems can be solved with momentum and two are better than one, they have a better return for their work.
What would bring a group of folks to The Front Porch at such a ridiculous time of day? Why would people possibly say yes to something most would say no to?
I believe people said yes because deep inside each of us we long to be connected to a community of others who long to be more then they are in the moment. I believe deep inside each human soul longs and yearns to be connected, challenged and stretched beyond their own comfort zone.
Some of us were runners, others joggers and others walkers but that did not matter, it was not about how fast we ran, walked or jogged, it was about the journey. We were all pounding out the pavement following the same trail with the goal of reaching the same destination, a group of ordinary people having an extraordinary experience together for the sake of community with the benefit of connecting.
The chiter chatter of the group brought a smile to my heart as I listened to some of my nearest and dearest friends connect, sharing their morning, their week and their plans for the weekend.
There is something profound about working out the body that can teach us much about working out our faith. Our muscles were made to be stretched and our bodies were made to move, how we do it and when we do it is all on an individual basis but in order to stay healthy it must be done.
The funny thing is that for me it takes about twenty minutes into my workout for me to start feeling good about what I am doing and then I am always glad I did it.
In fact, many said today when we were finished how good they felt once they started moving, confirmation that 85% of change, growth and problem solving comes in the form of momentum and movement. The problem at first was we didn’t feel like moving, yet the more we moved, the more we were able to move.
This to is the same with working out our faith. If we choose only to walk by faith every once in a while instead of exercising our faith we will suffer pain and fatigue every time. We were created to walk by faith not when we feel like it but all the time. This takes practice and perseveres to do what doesn’t feel right, believing that the end result will bring you closer to your creator and a place of health and wholeness.
We also need the encouragement of others who have gone before us, mentally, physically and spiritually to cheer us on and give us hope and faith that it is possible to run the race set before us. This is done in true community where no one is out for their own good but the good of the other person, knowing when we help others grow we will naturally grow ourselves.
The amazing result of choosing to connect in community through saying yes to a challenge is that we are given through the process a new set of eyes, which become the actual gift of understanding what the prize really looks like.
Even the Pit Master who chose to get up early with his faithful right hand man was being stretched as they stepped up to say yes to feeding those who chose the challenge. We met on The Front Porch at 6:30AM but they started the food preparation at 5:00AM and what was in it for them? They were not being paid, no trophy or award. If anything they were left with a mess to clean up, so what made them say yes to the challenge as well?
Community, connecting through an experience of being stretched to grow beyond our wildest dreams, starting small and realizing we can and we will if we choose to do it together. The prize, the ultimate gift comes when we actually witness the power of the living God in each other when we believe in ourselves not because we see greatness in us but because we see greatness in others.
So, to those who ran, walked, jogged, cooked, served and cleaned up, my hat goes off to all of you for running your race well, for not turning back, giving up or even giving in to what might have appeared to feel uncomfortable at first. You are all a gift to this community and beyond and your influence will reach many as you continue to say yes to being stretched.
Until next time, be blessed and don’t forget to tie your shoes.
See you on The Front Porch!