Most weekday mornings my alarm plays its xylophone ringtone at 4:45. I crawl out of the most comfortable bed in the world and grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee on my way to a 5:30 morning workout.
Many mornings there is a really whiny voice in my head once I am there saying, “this is too hard”, “it is too early”, “I don’t wanna do this” . . . . . All of this in an attempt to make a change in my waist and my weight.
And then I get in my car and drive to a place where men and women are fighting for real change in their life. Several around the FaithWorks classroom table aren’t sure where they will sleep tonight. Another is awakened each night by a ightmare that I can only imagine. No, that I cannot even imagine. Some are struggling to keep families together. Others yearn to regain parental rights of a son or a daughter. Still others struggle to identify who they are after the ending of long term relationships. And to get their feet back squarely on the ground.
One former student joins us at the devotional table before his weekly appointment to check how the latest chemo meds are working.
We begin each morning reading a Psalm and this week’s Psalms are pleas to God for protection; protection from liars and from those who use their words as weapons. Around our morning devotional table I hear what it is like to experience those struggles firsthand.
One of the earliest gifts that I remember receiving from FaithWorks was the reordering of my priorities in life. FaithWorks has helped me recognize the things in life that are truly important. And I am reminded, that these men and women, these new additions to the FaithWorks family, often are much better at identifying the important things in life than I. And that in spite of the nightmares and separations, they show up each morning and work all day toward the attainment of the things in life that are really important.
As we begin the tenth year of FaithWorks, I am once again reminded of what matters. Family. Healthy lives. Jobs that restore dignity while providing financial independence. The love and grace of Jesus Christ.