Have you ever put something in the ‘Too Hard Basket’ simply because it takes a bit of effort? Surely there has to be a quicker and easier way, right? Unfortunately, this happens to me more than I’d like to admit.
However, even for an avoider like myself, there are the times where there is no other way, and you have to draw on every bit of your strength and motivation to get it done.
I was a kid once. Yep, true story.
I have a vague memory from my childhood of when I was in England, on holiday with my family. During our time there we stopped by to visit some friends who owned a farm. It was winter, so I’m guessing there would have been gumboots, rain and mud involved. In fact, it was probably something quite similar to a scene out of Peppa Pig. As my parents most likely sat down to some tea and scones, my six-year-old self and newfound friend of a similar age wandered off to explore the great countryside of the Mother Land.
Throughout our adventures, I’m sure we crossed vast fields, scaled the mightiest of mountains, waded though the boggiest of marshes and fought off the occasional troll. However, at one stage we came across a small weir (a low dam built across a river to raise the level of water upstream or regulate its flow) in a near by creek. I, of course, was curious, having not seen one before and wanted to check it out. On my observation I could see that on one side there was water circulating and surging up but on the other side, a muddy trench that would have only had its thirst quenched by the passing showers. I could see that there was a problem; it was right there in front of us. The problem was that the only thing in the way of the water flowing from one side to the other, was that the lever needed turning for the gate to open up and let the water pass though. So as the young, curious and intrepid explorers that we were, we thought we would have a go and try and open it.
It was a hard task, even for a six-year-old. We could have just left it, but we were not going to be beaten. We had conquered so much already and we were ready to take on the world! We started out taking it in turns; probably because of the fact that whoever’s parent came out and caught us at any moment, that particular child would get into trouble. But anyhow… We were unstoppable! With each turn we both had a little bit of movement, but it wasn’t enough, so determination to succeed overwhelmed the risk of getting into trouble.
We joined forces and with every bit of strength we collectively channelled our inner super powers; we pushed, twisted, grunted and groaned! Then eventually, after all the elbow grease, blisters, blood, sweat and tears, we caused a shift. A shift that created enough momentum to see the gate open and see the water released. Everything that was once dammed on one side was set free, abundantly flowing out across what used to be a muddy trench. What used to be a place where things were malnourished, mouldy and struggled to survive in a bubbling cesspool that only some kind of amoebic colony would call home, would now have life! It would now be able to grow, see it’s full potential in flourishing life… And all it took was a little determination and perseverance from two kids who wanted to see a river flow.
The Apostle Paul writes;
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Paul wrote these words when he was most likely in, or on his way to prison, which would then be followed up by a death sentence. So he doesn’t just say these words lightly, he was as actually keen as mustard to see what God had for him, despite his circumstances.
The Oxford dictionary explains that the word Press as to move, or cause to move into a position of contact with something by exerting continuous physical force. Other ways to read it could be to; Thrust, Squeeze, Compress, Pulverize, Embrace, Clutch, Grasp, Swarm, Advance insistently, Soldier on and Persevere.
God is after tenacious and eager people. He so desperately wants us to be fascinated by Him. He wants us to see what happens when we push on the lever of the floodgates of Heaven. He is stirring and motivated and so should those that love him be stirring and motivated.
“Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter.” Psalm 24:7
Words by Lance Cooper