The Race Is On

July 25, 2010

A couple months ago I mentioned that I was writing a book.  My goal was to have it ready to publish by my birthday, which is now less than three weeks away.  Barring a miracle, that isn’t going to happen.  That’s what “deadlines” are for though, right?  Like rules, they were made to be tested.

My book was off to a good start.  Words continued to pour from my thoughts, through my fingers and onto the computer screen with ease for several weeks.   Then, BOOM!   Suddenly nothing I wrote made sense.   The flow turned into a trickle and then to a complete halt much like gridlock on the interstate leading to Atlanta.  I can see my destination, but I am helpless to get there at this point.

The world, which is my life, has been in a tailspin that’s lasted nearly two years now.  I thought things were beginning to settle out, but they’re not.  If anything, it’s getting worse.  This is possibly because I am so tired of it all.  I feel like running away … quitting … giving up.

Like that is an option.

Which brings me back to the topic at hand … my book.

I’ve chosen “Finishing Strong, A Woman’s Guide to a Race Well Run” as the title.  My inspiration (for lack of a better word) has been the events of my life, and those of so many other women I know. I wanted to do something positive with all the negative circumstances that I and others have been experiencing.  There is a lesson to be gleaned from all this, I just know it!  The trick is to figure out exactly what that lesson is so we can all stop spinning our wheels and move forward again.

It’s occurred to me that virtually everything I’ve been writing in the book is being tested.  Every word of encouragement, every theory I’ve suggested concerning what the “race of life” is all about, all hope I’ve dared to offer has been and continues to be challenged.  I look back over the chapters now and ask myself if I even really believe my own statements.

Here I am, telling women that life is a race of faith.  A race we cannot lose as long as we do not give up.  And here I sit myself, wanting to rip the book to shreds because I am sick and tired of running.  Forget finishing strong!  I just  … want … to … be … FINISHED!

Maybe I just had to come to this point in order to believe what I am trying so hard to convey to everyone else.  Even in my current state of weariness, I still have that underlying, nagging sense of optimism that things surely have to get better from here on in.  But I also have to admit, my thoughts have been leaning more toward the notion that it no law says it has to get better at all.  What if this is truly as good as it gets?

I’m asking myself if I can live with that possibility and frankly, I don’t know right now.

I suppose it’s also possible that I am finally figuring out what faith is all about.  “Faith” isn’t really faith at all if one can see, touch, feel whatever it is they’re hoping for.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV)

Perhaps I should be encouraged.  One thing is for certain, I cannot see anything I’ve been hoping for at this point in time.  Yet, I am still here.

Down for the moment?  Maybe … but I’m still here.

Licking my wounds on the sidelines? Probably … but I’m still here.

Too tired to run anymore? Oh yes! …  but I’m still here.

So, the book may be a little later in coming than I first believed, but I will finish it soon just as surely as I will eventually catch my breath, lace up my track shoes and continue my own pursuit of the prize that awaits at the end of my race.

I’ll see you at the finish line, my friend!  

July 25, 2010

Becky J. Taylor

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

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Love Story

January 7, 2010

Yesterday, I attended the memorial service of our precious friend, Bishop Charles Johnson.

Bishop Charles was a unique and remarkable man.  He had a true passion for souls, and made it his mission to carry the message of God’s love around the world.  From the backwoods and hollows of West Virgina to India and Africa, he was unstoppable!

Back in October, when the doctors diagnosed him with leukemia and sent him home with a prognosis of two days to live,  he traveled instead to North Carolina and preached to one of his many beloved congregations.  He had unfinished work to do and no man was going to tell him he couldn’t do it!

Bishop lived and ministered for three more months, not two days as had been predicted.  His desire to live and preach God’s Word was stronger than the disease that was trying to take him.

Bishop Charles was a great story-teller!  In his 50 plus years of ministry, he’d had many adventures and could describe each of them in a way that made a person feel as if they’d been right there beside him in the experience.  Many of his stories were hilariously funny and I often found myself wiping away tears of laughter as he spoke.

Even though I’d only met Bishop Charles six years ago, I felt I knew him fairly well, but it was not until his memorial service yesterday that I realized the legacy of love he was leaving behind.

Hundreds of people flowed into the auditorium to pay their last respects, and being very much a “people watcher” I couldn’t help but notice what a diverse group they were.

There were men and women in fur coats and fancy hats, as well as tattooed biker types with pony tails and tattered jeans.  There were old people and youngsters, people with perfect hairstyles and buttoned down collars … and a half-dozen or so with their hair dyed in all the colors of the rainbow.

Those who stood on the platform and spoke at the service were equally varied in their culture and color.

As I watched and listened, one thing became undeniably clear … not only had Bishop Charles Johnson preached the love of God to the nations, he’d practiced it!  The variety of people in attendance at his home-going celebration was a testimony to that fact.  As different from one another as we might have been, we had one thing in common.  Bishop Johnson loved us all unconditionally.

In his lifetime, Bishop Johnson was a great story-teller.  Ironically, it was his life itself that was the best story of all.  It was a story  written in accordance to God’s greatest commandment …

“Love One Another!”

Rest in peace, Bishop Charles.  May the lives of those you’ve touched continue to carry your story of love and acceptance to the ends of the earth!

Becky J. Taylor

http://www.boldnewday.com

January 7, 2010