As some of you know, we're reading through the Bible chronologically this year using the PrayFit app. We've jumped from Genesis to the book of Job, and we've been there a few days. What a book.
"How frail is humanity!
How short is life, how full of trouble!
We blossom like a flower and then wither.
Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear.
A person’s days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed."
(Job 14: 1-2, 5)
A couple of my favorite poems that I know by heart, and as Loretta will attest, I recite often around the house are, "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night" by Dylan Thomas and "IF" by Rudyard Kipling. I urge you to read and memorize them. I'm sentimental, of course, so they drive me. But I love the complexity, the irony, and the deep tension they expose. Indeed, bodily stewardship is truly an ever-growing tension for me; as if each ticking second of the clock beside me as I type this sentence represents the loosening stitch of the fabric of my physical self. I mean, I know I'm withering. I know I'm wasting away, and yet, I am called to fight. I'm called to steward. I'm called here on earth to nurse my dying shell with a heavenly mind.
When I got sick a few years ago, my grasp of my mortality tightened and my sensitivity to the brittleness of my body heightened. I came face-to-face with a certain truth. That my physical limit wasn't my personal best; like some passing bench press (405lb.) or my squat (550lb.); imposters disguised as my potential. I list them only to help illustrate that those mountain-top moments didn't represent my personal best. No, the most strenuous minute I've ever filled came when I realized I would never attempt to best them.
Frankly, nobody reading this sentence - or anyone who ever lived for that matter - has ever physically traveled beyond their God-given limits. Nobody. Read the verse again if need be. And while that might be a slap in the face to the motivational speaker who claims we can push beyond them, the truth is, we never exceed our limits. We merely - if rarely - find them. And I like to think, like Job realized, that in finding our limits, we meet God.
- Jimmy Peña
The Burning Question: Guys, I'm fighting. Clawing and reaching. I may not be as able as ever, but I still "rage against the dying of the light." Knowing Heaven is in view and by faith it will make sense of earth, I'm trying to fill the minutes and days with the kind of physical stewardship that allows me to do what God asks.
I hope I'm helping you do the same.