It’s spring here in the southern hemisphere. September heralds the arrival of the Godwit. These small birds have flown all the way from Siberia to New Zealand – non-stop. That’s 11,700 kilometres (around 7000 miles). They’re the bird world’s long distance champions.
The name Godwit originates in Old English with god meaning good, and wit coming from wihte, meaning creature. God is good, and so is his creation. Here the Godwits are at the beach where I live, having a well deserved rest behind the Heron.
Godwits Terns Gulls and Heron resting at Snells Beach, NZ
I walk, run and pray along this beach in the early mornings before work, doing about 5kms per day. When I first started in January, I got tired very quickly, and I started losing weight. I’ve lost 8kgs so far. When I see these guys just in from Siberia, I realise I don’t know what tired is! They teach me a lesson about endurance.
Do you get tired, do you get weary? I want to give you a word of encouragement;
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
The race of faith
Hold fast to what you have, and run. Run your race of faith, holding on to that which has been given to you. All I know is we need to run our race, shake off the sin that so easily entangles, and keep the faith.
But we need to know what we’re running for. I hate that scene in Forres Gump where Forres is running, and people have been inspired to join him – but he’s running for no reason and then stops, with no explanation! That’s no good.
Enjoy this quick video. It’s an ad but it says it all. Can God speak through a wordly ad? I think so. Instead of a starters gun, there’s a shofar. Rosh Hashanah is when the shofar (ram’s horn) or trumpet is sounded. For Israel, the Days of awe which have just ended are a call for repentance. Just as the shofar called the Jewish nation to turn their attention to the Lord and ready themselves for the Day of Atonement, so will the “trump of God” call us to heaven and warn the world of coming judgement.
It’s interesting that strange sounds like trumpet blasts have been emanating from the skies since 2011. Is God trying to get our attention?
We are in the “times of the signs”, as Chuck Misler calls it.
“When I return, will I find faith?” Jesus asked, after telling the parable about the persistent widow who never gave up on her petitions. (Luke 18) Let’s just fix our eyes on him, the author and finisher of our salvation, and let’s run the race of faith. And remember the Godwits.
The Need for Self-Discipline
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2