It’s been (and still is) a long, cold winter here in Wisconsin. The grass disappeared what seems like a decade ago and has been covered since with ice, snow, more ice and more snow. I love going on walks but the weather has dampened my enthusiasm quite a bit. This morning however, I went out with the dog and the steadfast mind of a mailman. Yes, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” I thought to my self.
I had walked confidently for about five minutes when I turned the corner. Suddenly, a blast of icy snow pelted me in the face. I pulled my hat tighter over my ears and wrapped the scarf around my mouth. The whistling freeze tried to crawl into every open crevice of the layers of my clothes. My determination to walk three miles was quickly replaced by visions of me with a cup of hot tea on my couch.
At the very moment of wanting to abandon my “rounds”, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I read the text on my screen,
“I don’t negotiate!”
The text came from my friend. I smiled, knowing what she was saying. Her husband recently had a bad accident. While extremely blessed, he still has to deal with four broken ribs and a bruised lung. She explained to me that even though it is hard, and her husband is tired of the breathing exercises, she is staying strong, not negotiating and encouraging him to do them.
As I looked down the road, facing this harsh wind, I was reminded how quickly I negotiate with myself. I make up excuses why a thing that is hard is not worth the fight. I want to give into my weak body, not allowing for something to produce a greater outcome later.
“I don’t negotiate!”
Was this walk really that difficult, or was my imagination of comfort motivating me? I knew if I kept walking, for another mile and a half, I could turn around and have the wind in my back. It would feel only like a breeze then. … and it did.
“For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit,
and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh,
for these are opposed to each other,
to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
“Lord, show me when I negotiate with myself and give into the weakness of my flesh. Keep me focused on the goal and the good that comes from persevering in my trials. Sustain me with your encouragement from your Word. Lead me with your Spirit and expose the lies I believe about myself, others, my circumstances, and more importantly about you.”