The Rest of The Way Posts

ENERGIZING FOR THE LONG HAUL
Tuesday, July 12, 2022 by Leona Choy

After 34 years, we're still seeing the Energizer Bunny battery commercial. The rabbit has marched to the beat of his own drum and run at full speed for a long time. I don't know how old it would be in animal years, but its appearance has now changed to a facelift and updated fashion. Mickey Mouse, in contrast, is 94 years old and his image hasn't changed a bit. Aging might be different for mice?

The pink mechanical toy rabbit now wears dark sunglasses and flip-flops but continues to beat a bass drum bearing the Energizer logo. He is slimmer with more human-like moves and more facial expressions. “Still running!” is its shortened slogan, his image now commonly used for anything that continues endlessly, or someone who has immense stamina. Some of my friends have compared me to the Energizer Bunny because of my lifestyle and service to the Lord in the literal fast lane. Not true anymore. Nor was it wise at the time.

I think you know the meaning of “energize.” I'm not referring to the obvious—indulging in caffeine, an energy drink, or over-munching on chocolate. A word search offers 50 synonyms. Here are a few: animate, empower, invigorate, motivate, stimulate, strengthen, enliven, quicken, vitalize, build-up, pep up, pump up put zip into, and switch on. At times I need ALL of those!

To be realistic, my longevity body “earth suit” is now slowly chugging along at about 25% energy level compared to a few decades ago. My creativity level is still, however, running pretty much on high octane. I admit that tension frustrates me. Yes, if I were a car, my engine might perform better with high octane. “My vehicle might get better mileage while it’s working hard, such as when towing a trailer or carrying heavier than normal cargo, especially in hotter weather.”

But I'm not a motor vehicle. My eternal soul is housed in a very fragile human ”earth suit.” If I were a car and reached my present age of 97, I would probably be a rusty Model T.

Unfortunately, I tend to try carrying heavier than normal spiritual and material cargo and tow my too full life-trailer that is not meant for me to pull. I'm cautioned by this verse: “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] I see the limitations in the expanded version of the verse: “...all things which He has called me to do.” That puts limits on me and should keep me from trying to fulfill someone else's calling. I'm not guaranteed divine energizing for that.

When the apostle Paul in his elder years wrote, “I have finished MY course” he referred to his personal calling. God did not call him to fulfill apostle James' early martyrdom or duplicate the apostle John's long ministry. I get into trouble if I compare my calling with God's calling to others.

I do need to experience a lifetime of mortal and spiritual energizing dispensed in every season and in all the circumstances of life. Where does that energizing come from? As a follower of Jesus, my service for Him should come from the energizing of the Holy Spirit, not self-motivated or activated. The term “energizing” appears a number of times in Scripture translations regarding our works for the Lord. Our works should rise from our relationship with Him, not from an effort to accumulate credits toward entering Heaven. I need fresh fillings of the Holy Spirit to keep me topped off to overflowing no matter what my age or diminishing human strength and abilities or lack of them.

I relate to the MSG version of Isaiah 40:21, “Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s the Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, and doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired and gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.”

I'm one of those breathless, weary, stumblers who doesn't want to reach a truncated dropout point. In fact, I want to keep spreading my wings and soaring as long as God energizes this clay body. (Psalm 103:5)

The apostle Paul writes to believers, “We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more about how God works, you will learn how to do your work. We pray that you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory strength God gives. The older I become, the more I need the strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.” Yes, I want all of that, Lord.

1 Corinthians 12:6 offers me details on how to keep on keeping on in our God-given calling and giftings. “And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all.”

Romans 15:13 reinforces that. “May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!”

I get it, Lord. “For [if we are] in Christ Jesus.… [the only thing that counts for anything] is faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.” (Galatians 5:6) “Recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your work energized by faith and service motivated by love and unwavering hope in [the return of] our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

These aren't new spiritual principles to me. I've known them all my ministry life. It is a matter of keeping them consistently activated in each stage of my life. I must listen to the Spirit's tender whisper on how He wants me to recalibrate and adjust my life for the latter season when, as the Baptizer John realized, “I must decrease while Jesus must increase.” For those of us who are blessed with longevity, a weakened physical state comes along with the aging package.

God is not a hard taskmaster. He is a gentle Shepherd who knows our frame and has special, paced expectations for His older ewes like me—who are becoming wobbly and our matted wool is full of burrs, and our dimming eyes and duller ears incline us to misstep. Even to wander and go astray, if I don't follow closely His guidance.

In their intensive care for his flock, a shepherd regularly slathers his sheep with a generous application of protective, scented oil—not just a trickle. He rubs it in from the top of their heads to their tails. I'd like that, Lord. Pour on that fresh anointing oil. Parasites and buzzing critters are hovering about out there from which I need protection. You know how vulnerable I am with the accumulation of years. You have made provision for my growing weaknesses by increasing Your grace and enabling.

Jesus was said to have been “tempted in all human points” and so has compassion for His sheep at every stage of life, even to experience the difficulties that come upon His aging children. Perhaps, although we are not told, He might have cared for His aging earthly father Joseph when he left for Jesus' Heavenly Father's House. Surely there were elderly in the crowds that followed Him who received His healing touch, the strengthening of their bones and weak knees and bent backs. The apostle John was the only one of Jesus' disciples to navigate the norms of longevity. It was late in his life that John experienced the wonders of the Revelation reveal, even to writing it down for us. For that, he must surely have been energized by the Holy Spirit and well soaked in anointing oil.

Lord, keep me on track with You even if I've been an unwise Energizer Bunny at times attempting to carry loads that You have not given me and fainting and falling down in the process. Help me endure to the end of life's journey not merely surviving but finishing well.

Are there viewers of my blog post out there in cyberspace, whatever your calendar age, who will join in our common desire to please God all the way to the Finish Line? God has given each of us a specialized life assignment. Let's encourage one another to stay on our own course energized by the Holy Spirit, as Paul also must have experienced in his advanced years. Then we can say with him, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

 

 


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Post Surgery Report
Leona Choy
12/3/2019

SURGERY ENCORE
Leona Choy
11/23/2019

“You Have the Right to Remain Silent”
Leona Choy
10/31/2019

WHO IS SHAKING MY TREE?
Leona Choy
10/30/2019

WHO IS THE BOSS OF ME?
Leona Choy
10/15/2019

LORD, MOVE MY MOUNTAIN!
Leona Choy
10/13/2019

ANOTHER WAITING ROOM
Leona Choy
10/11/2019

DON'T BE SHEEPISH
Leona Choy
10/10/2019

THE VALUE OF SELF-TALK
Leona Choy
9/28/2019

LASER PRAYER
Leona Choy
9/27/2019

THANKS FOR THE MEMORY
Leona Choy
9/12/2019

CARRY ME, FATHER
Leona Choy
9/5/2019

MY PERSONAL SPIRITUAL WORKOUT
Leona Choy
9/4/2019

PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
Leona Choy
9/1/2019

Lessons from My Cup
Leona Choy
8/20/2019

STRAW & THE CAMEL'S BACK
Leona Choy
8/7/2019

BECOMING MORE "FRUITY"
Leona Choy
7/10/2019

CREATIVE ENCOUNTERS
Leona Choy
7/3/2019

PITCHING IT RIGHT
Leona Choy
6/30/2019

“WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU GROW UP?”
Leona Choy
6/25/2019

34580 and COUNTING
Leona Choy
6/18/2019

MOUNTAINS AND MOLEHILLS
Leona Choy
6/14/2019

CHEERLEADING
Leona Choy
6/6/2019

HANDS ON THE PLOW
Leona Choy
5/22/2019

WAITING FOR GRADUATION DAY
Leona Choy
5/17/2019

I THINK BOOKS
Leona Choy
5/13/2019

ONLY TALK WITH YOUR MOUTH FULL!
Leona Choy
5/4/2019

HO-HUM FAITH
Leona Choy
4/18/2019

BREATHTAKING THOUGHTS
Leona Choy
4/7/2019

TOO MUCH ON MY PLATE?
Leona Choy
3/31/2019

EARTH SUIT vs SPACE SUIT: Increasing Tension
Leona Choy
3/4/2019

AVOIDING A SPIRITUAL "OOPS!"
Leona Choy
3/1/2019

PURSUING WISDOM
Leona Choy
2/19/2019

A THORNY MATTER
Leona Choy
2/15/2019

A SOMEWHAT GRUMPY CHAT WITH GOD
Leona Choy
2/12/2019

A FISH STORY
Leona Choy
2/8/2019

LET'S EAT NOODLES TOGETHER!
Leona Choy
1/21/2019

SATISFIED--A SECRET TO SHARE
Leona Choy
1/11/2019

STILL RUNNING
Leona Choy
12/29/2018

RESISTANCE TO ASSISTANCE
Leona Choy
12/6/2018

CHALLENGE OF THE FOURTH QUARTER
Leona Choy
11/26/2018

KEEPING A TRADITION
Leona Choy
11/15/2018

PUBLISHING FUND PROGRESS
Leona Choy
11/5/2018

"GOING STEADY" WITH MY "SUGAR CANE"
Leona Choy
11/3/2018

A SHOUT-OUT FOR A NEW BUTTERFLY
Leona Choy
10/31/2018

THANKSGIVING IN OCTOBER
Leona Choy
10/7/2018

REPEAT OFFENDERS
Leona Choy
9/30/2018

SHINING WHEN YOUR BATTERY IS LOW
Leona Choy
9/21/2018

I DESERVE IT...DESERVE IT NOT....
Leona Choy
9/13/2018

WHAT'S IN A NAME?
Leona Choy
9/10/2018

WAITING FOR GOD'S DUE TIME
Leona Choy
9/3/2018

STONES AND COVERUPS AND HOLY EARS
Leona Choy
8/31/2018

IT'S ALL ABOUT SHOES
Leona Choy
8/29/2018

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MY CELL TOWER
Leona Choy
8/27/2018

REJUVENATION GOD'S WAY
Leona Choy
8/17/2018

STUCK IN THE MUD?
Leona Choy
8/13/2018

TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
Leona Choy
8/8/2018

WHEN'S A GOOD TIME TO "EXULT"?
Leona Choy
7/30/2018

Survey For the Calendar-Challenged
Leona Choy
7/25/2018

Destiny Decisions
Leona Choy
7/19/2018

BEDROOM SLIPPERS OR HIKING BOOTS?
Leona Choy
7/18/2018

Hurrah for the Prepper Bridesmaids!
Leona Choy
7/13/2018

THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
Leona Choy
7/10/2018

BARNACLES
Leona Choy
6/5/2018