Monday, November 26, 2007

“Just Show Up…”

Many of life’s battles are often won by simply out lasting the enemy! The key is to “show up” day after day, week after week, month after month…even when every muscle fiber screams “STAY IN BED!”

Most of us have heard how Abraham Lincoln continued even with all the setbacks and difficulties...however, over the Thanksgiving Holiday, my wife and I watched Amazing Grace, the wonderful story of the young idealist William Wilberforce maneuvering his way through the British Parliament in 19th century England, endeavoring to end the horrid British transatlantic slave trade. Here is someone who understood that one critical key to winning in life’s battles was to “show up” week after week, month after month, year after year…Wilberforce persevered (he had much help along the way) and ultimately saw Great Britain’s laws halt all slave trade.

It is interesting to me that my God will open my eyes to this truth from time to time. Just today I read where if those with heart failure will simply stick to an exercise program they can recapture up to 70% of their exercise capacity. Recent research suggested that regular exercise impacts progenitor cells (a pool of immature cells in skeletal muscle that can divide into mature cells as needed for muscle repair) in a very positive manner. Heart patients who were at similar levels of heart failure were placed on a doctor-supervised exercise program and their progress monitored. The results demonstrated that the number of progenitor cells actively dividing to form new cells and repair muscle damage increased dramatically. By the end of the program these heart patient’s exercise capacity had also increased by an average of 35%, giving the men about three-fourths the capacity of healthy men their age. Hey, I will ‘settle’ for 75% capacity of ‘healthy men’ my age…now I must ‘show up’ every day.

We can learn from inspirational stories of God-fueled human determination in the face of adversity. The conflict between the people and their natural surroundings, an oppressive regime, or just themselves, but in any case -- and at any cost -- their ultimate victory serves as a boost to our spirits...hope for all of us.

I am not sure what situation you may face, but I know from history, experience, and God’s guidance, that being faithful and consistent in your daily walk will bring benefits in the years to come. So push through the tough time with your children, the trying time with your spouse, the boring time at work, and (for my students) the exhausting pressure of graduate school…show up and see if you don’t experience some victories in life.

"Show up" today, tomorrow, and on into next week!
John Mark Topics Covered At The American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2007

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