Have Faith

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Day 29 & 30

Press on towards the goal to win the prize...

The Goal...

How easy is it to score a goal on a football

pitch? When you have nothing in front of

you, it is easy. Dribble the ball straight down

the pitch and then tap it in. You don’t even

need to get out of breath. The thing is, once

you’ve scored, there is no real feeling of

achievement. It is empty, almost false as if

you’ve cheated. But put a team in front of

you and it suddenly turns in to a real struggle.

Players trying to tackle you, the slow, dribbling

straight line to goal turns in to a zig zag

of sprints and huge effort just to get to the

goal. When you get there, there is a keeper

in the way who is hell bent on stopping you

from scoring. But when you finally hit the

back of the net, you’ve done it!! You’ve struggled

through, didn’t give up and scored.

Every week, we see this happen. 90 minutes

of hard work with maybe one or two goals to

show for it. It’s funny, I don’t even like football.

In our lives, we find the same struggles.

Our personal goals are seldom easy to

achieve, when they are easy, they rarely

leave us with a sense of achievement. Over

the last few years, I have been determined to

get realistic help for other veterans in my

area. Every direction I turned lead to a dead

end or another barrier I had to climb over. I

Elephant Sandwiches...

One of the best army officers I ever knew

used to say to me ‘Paul, take small bites out

of elephant sandwiches.’ I used to laugh to

myself and consider calling the men in white

coats but what I didn’t realise is that he would

always see when I was getting a little

stressed and flustered. He would say this to

me to get me to take small bites out of a huge

task. That way I would always finish the task.

These days, I have taken on this saying and

call on it every time the task ahead seems

daunting. There have been similar sayings

such as ‘One day at a time...’ or ‘Never bite

off more than you can chew...’ They all mean

the same thing but at the end of the day, I

suppose it’s what helps you through. However

there are two phrases I have come

across which I’m sure you all know but I

Proverbs 3: 5-6

got frustrated, angry, felt like giving up so

many times but something just kept pushing

me forward. I made a lot of mistakes along

the way, some worse than others but every

mistake taught me a valuable lesson that

gave me the tools to succeed. I failed many

times. Each failure made me try a little

harder and made me more determined.

When I finally made it happen and I achieved

my aim. The feeling was incredible. This is

definitely the road God had put me on. He

needed me to fail, he needed me to make

mistakes, he needed me to suffer in the way

I have done so this final goal, which will help

so many, could be achieved properly. When

I look at how St Paul viciously persecuted

Christians, had innocent people stoned and

imprisoned just for being Christian, I see the

road that God had put him on. If he hadn’t

done these things, he could not have been

chosen to become the apostle that he turned

into. He understood more than most because

he had seen both sides of the fence

and fought to turn his life from bad to good.

We read St Paul’s letters throughout the new

testament and we believe what he has to say.

Just a though springs to mind, would you

have believed him 2000 years ago?

Proverbs 3: 5-6

would still like to remind you of them. The

first is ‘Your future is built on the strength you

have gained in the past’. This is all about

having faith in yourself, trust in your abilities.

You have been given them for a reason. The

second is from the Bible. ‘Those who trust in

the Lord will find new strength’. This is from

Isaiah 40: 31. A very basic and short piece

of advice but so true. Just trust in him, he will

guide you, strengthen you and help you to

the end of your journey. Worth remembering

that one. Finally, I have to say that I will

never forget that old crazy saying from my

army boss. He taught me how to finish tasks

in a very realistic and eccentric way but it

works. But most of all trust in yourself and

your own abilities but most importantly trust

in God in everything you do.

| 26 www.sandbagtimes.co.uk/havefaith

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