Reflection March 23
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.
I have spent a lot of time outdoors doing hard and dirty things. I grew up on a working cattle and crop farm… that’s hard and always dirty. I grew up raising Christmas Trees… trimming and shaping trees in the heat of summer is hard and sticky dirty. I did rodeo barrel racing and pole bending… and anything you do with horses is hard and dirty.
I worked backpacking adventure camping in the wilds of West Virginia with inner-city kids from DC… that was hard, and we were never clean. I led 10-day backpacking trips in Colorado with youth groups… 30+ pound backpacks are hard and by trail’s end the grime is thick.
I ran our art glass business… the work was hard, hot, sweaty and dirty. Closing the business was harder.
Sometimes I dwell too much on the “counting everything as loss” because of the “hard”. I have suffered loss. I have said “it’s all rubbish” … but I do know, and I have faith and I’ve seen hope. When I think of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, I always remember a tiny yellow flower hidden on top of the crest of a mountain. It was only visible by the hard work of hiking step-by-step up that mountain carrying a heavy load. That little spot of yellow at my feet even while the vast view was spectacular seemed placed there just for me by God Himself to remind me that all I saw in my view and all He did to get me to the place I was — was by Him.