Eternity Matters: Celebrating milestones

By Norma Shull Smith

It is hard to believe this is the 12th edition of my Eternity Matters Articles to appear in one of two papers;  kind of neat that I celebrate this milestone the first month of a brand new year!

We all think of  new beginnings, resolutions and becoming more physically fit with the start of another year.  We generally go a few days, perhaps a week and before we know it, we skipped a day here, slipped up and ate something we knew we shouldn’t have, defeating ourselves before we even gave it a good chance.

As I thought about this, I realized that ‘discipline, forgiveness and persistence’, are paramount in making milestones! A milestone is of course, a specific event in a person’s life or in history.  I believe it would be very safe to say that one doesn’t remain married to celebrate a golden anniversary without discipline, forgiveness and persistence. When we think of monumental happenings in history like, Orville Wright’s invention of the airplane,  President Lincoln’s election into office or Ernie Harwell calling 42 seasons of Tiger baseball, it would be hard to imagine they became who they were without practicing discipline, forgiveness and persistence!  The first flight of the Wright Brothers actually crashed causing major damage to the aircraft.  Abraham Lincoln lost several attempts to gain political office before he became successful and in the early 1990’s, Ernie Harwell fans were in an uproar over new Tigers President, Bo Schembechler, forcing Ernie out of the job that would forever carry his legend.

With the changing of yet another year, we will all face the unexpected and sometimes fail and have the need to pick ourselves up and start all over again.  “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:12 & 13 (ESV)  Scripture also reminds us in I Corinthians 9:24-27, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
What ever you chose to do this year to improve upon life, consider improving  self discipline,  becoming a more forgiving person (that means forgive yourself as well), and be persistent!  Finally,  if we would practice this bit of widsom found in Colossians 3:23, where it says, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men”, surely we would become life changers and milestone makers!

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