Good Morning Everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Pushing through adversity”
Our Bible verse for today: “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Press on regardless!”
In his great little book, “Bounce: Learning to thrive through loss, tragedy, and heartache”, author Aaron Fruh tells the story of Matthew Lawson. Matthew is remembered by his children and grandchildren for the valuable life-lesson he taught them.
Matthew was an adventurous soul who enjoyed challenges. An old picture of him shows him standing in his study, in front of a desk piled high with books, wearing an Indiana Jones – style hat, a leather jacket, a holster around his waist, and a six shooter in his hand. There’s an old oil painting of an Apache Indian chief hanging on the wall in the background.
When his children were still young, Matthew established an annual family tradition each summer that left a deep impression on all of his extended family. Matthew would take off by himself into a particular area of the Mexican wild lands. Then after a few days his family would leave their home in Arizona and follow after him. When they got to the designated starting point they would find a paper plate tacked to a wooded stake driven into the ground. On the plate would be the letters POR with an arrow pointing forward.
They would follow the designated path until they came upon another plate attached to a stake, also with the letters POR and an arrow pointing the direction. This would continue for hours until finally, the family would arrive at some special campsite already set-up by Matthew and waiting for them. The site would usually be at some spectacular setting and the family would then enjoy a fun-filled and adventurous family vacation.
The letters POR stood for “Press on Regardless” and were meant to inspire them to keep going no matter what. Even though they did not know exactly what lay ahead of them; even though they didn’t know what obstacles or challenges they might face along the way; even though they didn’t know how long the journey would last or how difficult it was going to be, they were to Press on Regardless.
The family continued to observe that tradition every year for as long as Matthew lived, and POR became a metaphor for life that everyone of them carried with them. No matter what challenge, obstacle, or adversity they faced in life, they were to Press on Regardless”.
Life is filled with obstacles, challenges, and adversity. We all face those things and when we do, we all have a choice to make. We can either let those things stop us in our tracks and we can feel sorry for ourselves as we wallow in despair, or we can press on regardless.
This month we’re going to spend our time exploring the theme of pushing through adversity. The Bible is filled with examples, exhortations, encouragement and commands designed to help us do exactly that. I’m looking forward to learning about it with you. Our goal will be to “Press on regardless!”