It's been a minute since I've been able to be in my corner with you, but many of you know I've been working on a writing project for our trip to Israel. By the way, we leave soon. (What?) Indeed, we're going back to the Holy Land for an 11-day tour with about 125 people from our church family; along with an additional 100+ from around the country. I was humbled to help Pastor Shawn with a 30-day devotional for the group; what an honor.
But I wanted to say goodbye as well as to beg for your prayers. (Specifically for my ongoing health concerns and sleep issues.)
As far as our trip - among so many other places - we'll again visit the Dead Sea. We'll witness an unbelievable panoramic view from the top of Mount of Olives. We'll walk down the Palm Sunday Path, visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Church of All Nations and The Western Wall. We'll walk the Via Dolorosa and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. We'll look down into Nazareth and spend time in Capernaum where Jesus spent most of his life. Loretta and I will wade into the River Jordan together with our pastor and we'll sail a boat out onto the Sea of Galilee for a time of prayer. And then...
...we will kneel where our sins were forgiven.
Suddenly anything I will ever write falls gloriously short of that sentence. We still can't describe what's in store. But in my thoughts while we're there will be all of you.
I prayed for all of you this morning from my little corner of the world; my little corner where I rehab, where I fight, where I "train." You'll notice my old belt on the wall. But mostly, this is where I come face-to-face with my smallness, frailty and dependence. For years, grace has put my faith to "work," to move, to dig deep. These days grace makes me want to be still.
Funny, many of you remember my mainstream fitness days. Some of you remember my first devotion in 2009. Others remember the books and DVDs, and still some of you remember all the surgeries, the illnesses and loss of ability. But may we be known for what we did with it all.
Because frankly, being remembered isn't my goal; at least not anymore. Truth is, I just want God to know me, and for my circumstances to be used for His glory. I'm reminded of a portion of a poem called, "The Indispensable Man" by Saxon White Kessinger. He writes, "
Sometime when you're feeling important;
Sometime when your ego 's in bloom;
Sometime when you take it for granted,
You're the best qualified in the room:
Sometime when you feel that your going,
Would leave an un-fillable hole,
Just follow these simple instructions,
And see how they humble your soul.
Take a bucket and fill it with water,
Put your hand in it up to the wrist,
Pull it out and the hole that's remaining,
Is a measure of how much you'll be missed.
Truthfully, being remembered isn't the goal - because I won't be, nor do I need to be - I just want my little corner of the world to be a place where God is glorified and where He uses me to serve you. If you forget everything I've ever written, let that be the last to go.
Speaking of, they're calling our flight.
- Jimmy Peña
For Discussion: I'll miss you all. Devotions will resume later in November after my return. Thank you for your constant encouragement and prayers.