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25 Mar 2022

Lenten Devotional, Day 19, Overnight Success, (episode 79)

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I usually go to my sit spot in the morning. But, today I waited until the end of the day. There is a completely different energy sitting in your backyard at 10:30 pm in the cover of night than during the emerging brightness of a new day. At night there’s often not a single bird song or flash of feathers, to fill the time. No squirrels playing. Just quiet. Distant cars. A few neighbor’l ks central air units kicking on. An occasional car on a side street, but otherwise, sitting at night is seemingly uneventful.

I noticed though something new. Like tiny quills on the back of a porcupine, the flower bed about our Tulip trees is just beginning to erupt with tiny green spikes. These are the first. shoots of Hostas plants coming up. I’m also seeing buds on the Tulip and blossoms fully open on our peach trees. I also found a finch next on top of an exterior light fixture on our garage.

All of these changes seem to magically happen overnight, but the truth of the matter is that the trees and plants have been going through months of internal change preparing for this moment.

In life, overnight successes often follow a similar patter of development. Lionel Messi who is regarded by many to be the greatest soccer player in the world says.

“I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year…It took me 17 years 114 days to become an overnight success.”

Ray Kroc, the man accredited with global expansion of McDonalds, said,

“I was an overnight success all right, but 30 years is a long, long night.”

My experience has been that in God’s family, those who are the rock stars of faith, the people who seem to have exceptional relationships with God, didn’t get there overnight. In fact, the people of faith that I have most admired have been like Lionel Messi, in that day after day, year after year, they have put in the the time necessary to form a deep relationship with God.

They are the ones who spend time daily in the word.  They often have lengthy lists of people they are praying for and daily habits of doing so. They show up like clockwork to serve week after week. They are the first to bring a dish, saying a kind word, or offer to help. And they have chosen to live that way for years.

Questions: What is a habit you could do every day or every week that would be an investment in your relationship with God? Who do you look up to in faith and what habits do they seem uncompromisingly committed to?

A Collect for Diligence: Most Holy God, whose steadfast love endures forever, give us wisdom to recognize and embrace the small things that can make a huge difference in our faith if we will just stick with them day after day and year after year, so we have an exceptional relationship with you, in Christ’s name we pray, Amen

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