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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Develop a spiritual callous
By Jim Hutson
05/01/07


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Hebrews 10:35-36 (NET) "So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God's will and so receive what is promised."

We're all promised something, the American Dream, or at least we think we are. We all have those little 'catch phrases' that our parents use to tell us growing up that promised great things.

"Cross your eyes like that again, and they'll stay that way!"

"Eat your vegetables and you'll grow up big and strong."

"You can be whatever you want to be."

"Keep your nose to the grindstone and you'll be successful in life."

"Go to college, get a degree, and then you'll get a great and rewarding job."

"If God's calling, you have to follow the path He's prepared."

We do what we're told will give us the greatest return, the greatest piece of that American Dream. And then, the promise doesn't come true and we're left holding a bag of useless goods. At least, in our opinion.

Life happens. That's what we say, trying to shrug off the useless dreams and goods that we were sold growing up or at that seminar, or even in the church pews. Yes, life does happen –unlike it was designed to happen in accordance with the Master's plan. But we don't see things that way.

When this broken, fallen, and dysfunctional life 'happens', those eyeballs stay crossed even though you never crossed them purposefully, that lifetime of vegetable eating ends with the onset of cancer, you find out you cannot be a nuclear scientist because you can seem to grasp the necessary quantum physics equational theories, the college degree you have has been reproduced millions times over and there are only thousands of job openings, and that call from God…..well, He's put you on hold.

And we stand at the edge of that crevice, that one that fades into the darkness of this sinful and Devil reigning world…….teetering on the brink of falling over by our own accord. We start questioning everything we have ever been told, wondering if there is anyone or anything that we can trust or rely on. We realize that it is our own fault that we've failed quantum physics, we doubt we're good enough for any career, or we start ridiculing ourselves at our foolishness to be so bold. Even God's voice doesn't seem to be real, maybe we didn't really hear that call to our purpose, ministry or otherwise.

And we throw our God-given, Spirit-driven confidence in the Creator's design out the window…..and take the leap off that cliff.

But the greatest people; the leaders of the world, industry, ministry , and science all stopped at that brick wall called the American Dream and some hit it pretty hard. But all picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and looked beyond the problem to their prize.

And then they plotted a new path to get there. Not a certain job, not a certain financial gain, and not a certain level of importance; but the path to the purpose they were designed to live by the Creator who designed them. And they stepped confidently out into that strange world, their eyes on the destination.

Confidence allows you to step out in faithful stride to the Creator's call to purpose. And those pitfalls, those sudden life-altering bruises, all will batter at that confident stride. A spiritual callous, called endurance will develop over time. When you do reach that level of spirituality; be it in ministry or in industry, you will have the toughness of God's skin to do the work He's called you to do.

Heaven Father,
We know that in times of strife, disappointment, and sorrow You are there. Help us to hold on to our faith in the promise, endure as Christ endured the cross, and develop a spiritual toughskin that will surround us in the battles we face.
AMEN


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Member Comments
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Jan Ackerson 05/04/07
Those "wise" sayings have always bothered me, so I found myself really nodding in agreement at the central part of your entry.

FYI: "Callous" means cold, uncaring. "Callus" is a thickening of the skin.

The concept of a spiritual callus is super, and not one that had ever occured to me. I also enjoyed your writing style.