Article and Photography by Curtis Beaird
The toughest battles we fight occur within ourselves. The battleground is always an inner choice. Even the simplest decision occurs long before we feed the coins into the drink machine.
The tussle between “Yes or No” --- "I will or I won’t" --- "I can or I can’t" --- is resolved within our mind, spirit, inner person. Take your pick of the name you give it. Our inner life manages our outer actions.
Our inner life sources patience, kindness, courage, faith, hope and love, all of which require energy. Love is one of the most demanding actions in a day that is bathed in perpetual chaos. There are very few who are standing on the curb clapping when the parade called love goes by. Caring rarely comes naturally. It takes an inner effort beyond feeling sorry for the kittycat caught in a tree to move us to action. Leaning into the struggle takes effort, and sometimes a lot of it.
Courage trails love only slightly in its energy demands. How many times a day does a call to step up and take responsibility begin with a sigh? “He did what?” “You mean I’ve got to do that again?” Long silence. Turmoil twists our spirit. Our inner person spins out of control in an all-too-familiar whirlpool. Finally. “I will be there in thirty minutes.”
Exhausting. Simply exhausting. Hope can fade if we go it alone in our world of constant choices, especially when those choices are seldom heroic and are too often made of tedium. Faith requires more than a gritty self-determination to see it through. The Apostle Paul knew how fragile the inner person could be when faced with a constant flow of disappointment and a spirit pushed past fatigue.
So he prayed. He prayed for his friends at Ephesus. He prayed for all who faced the challenge through the ages. He prays for us.
“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory,
to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:16
by His spirit
in the inner man.
Who really wants to turn that down?
Copyright 2017, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.