Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 108

Wisdom Owns It

I remember as a child taking a job feeding my neighbors dogs for a few weeks while the neighbors were out of town. I probably remember this because they had me feed them bologna sandwiches for treats. I dutifully did the job, but it was a job. They were not my dogs. And they slobbered. A lot.  Then, when I was nine years old I got my own dog. I was thrilled to be the owner of a dog. This was different than feeding my neighbor’s dog. I named my dog. I played with my dog. I talked to my dog. He slept on the foot of my bed. I even wrote a poem about my dog. He was mine. I owned him

So it is with our spiritual life. If we don’t truly own it, it will feel more like a joyless job, often feeling like a mere routine? We certainly won’t thrill in it, write a poem about it, or delight in talking to God.

So what might keep us from owning our spiritual life? Routine? Neglect? Following rules rather than personal convictions? Pleasing people more than pleasing God? Having a “back door” for a possible exit? Perhaps these reasons point to our need to “work out our own salvation…” Sunday, Wyndham relayed a message about owning one’s spiritual life.

Sunday was a glorious day. Our teenage grandson made the decision to follow Jesus and was baptized into Christ. We now have a granddaughter/sister and a grandson/brother. Caleb wanted to be baptized in our hot tub in the back yard so that his Papa could be part of the wonderful occasion. We realized the day before that Sunday was also Wyndham’s 47th spiritual birthday. He was baptized on June 2, 1972. It felt like a kiss from God to share this date.

Since Wyndham cannot speak clearly or loudly enough to share, he carefully expressed to me what he wished for me to share with Caleb on his behalf. Not surprisingly, the first scripture he wanted to share was one that has stayed close to his heart and guided his character since that day in June, 47 years ago.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. (1 Timothy 1:5)

He asked Caleb to strive for this love and to keep a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a genuine faith.

He then asked me to read 2 Timothy 4:6-8

 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near.
  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

It was hard to read this scripture through my tears because it feels so real and relevant. Wyndham has fought the good fight and is still fighting, perhaps in the most difficult way yet. Time for departure is nearer than we wish. He is, as described in a previous post, running “heartbreak hill.” Heartbreak hill is a long, hard stretch up a hill near the end of the Boston Marathon route. However, eternal life with God…. beyond description is waiting at the finish line. Now that’s someone and something to run to!

Wyndham asked me to tell Caleb, “It’s your race now!”

True words.

We must all own the race marked out for us. No one can run it for us. If we don’t own it, we won’t run it. At least not for long. And if we don’t own it, we will have no joy attempting the run.

Sometimes it takes times of reflection and prayer to internalize the true ownership of our race. Then, and only then can we keep running despite injury, fatigue, or course detours. The beautiful thing is that when we take ownership of our race we are carried along by loving arms of support and the breath of refreshment from he who runs alongside us, gives us refreshment, and picks us up when we fall. It’s my race. It’s your race. May we own it and run it wholeheartedly, never taking our eyes of the one who runs with us.

  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
(Hebrews 12:1-2)

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  1. debwright54gmailcom

    Definitely cried tears of joy, admiration, and gratitude for Wyndham being able to see this day in Caleb’s life…the inspiration and hope just keeps shining through. Thanks once again…Love you all!!
    Sheridan & Deb

  2. Terri Bailey

    Wow!!! Such true and timely words of wisdom from Wyndham to Caleb! Jeanie, thanks for being God’s instrument to share all of Wyndham’s thoughts, fears, hopes, words of encouragement, and meaningful messages to so many loved ones. ❤️

  3. Jennifer Lambert

    Thank you for sharing Wyndham’s words and your heart. The circle of life – of eternal life. With much love to your entire family, Jennifer

  4. Kitty Chiles

    I am overjoyed for you and heartbroken at the same time. Those are some big shoes to fill for Caleb!

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Bonnye

    What a wonderful example you and Wyndham have been to your children and grandchildren. I can’t imagine reading Wyndham’s words without a bucket full of tears, but what a joyous occasion. It makes one think about the cycle of life.

    Love you much,

  6. Jerry R Sprague

    I praise God for Caleb’s decision and for his wonderful grandparents!

  7. Annie

    Congratulations on Caleb baptism. Great testament to your family. May God bless him in this journey. Praying for Wyndham’s journey. Big hug.

  8. Debbie Mackie

    So beautiful and so true! Oh Happy Day for Caleb and your precious family! We love you all so much! Jim and Debbie

  9. Marie McMahan

    I think it impossible to read this without gulping back tears. What joy, amazement, conviction, loss, pain, impact and glory! This small piece is rich in the story of what it is all about to follow Jesus from beginning to end. A life of impact reaches far… to generations… to those near and far, as we and so many others like us, who have never known him personally, have been challenged and taught to walk closer to our Savior through the Spirit’s use of Wyndham’s life and teaching. Thanks for sharing this as he continues to teach us how to walk all the way to our heavenly home.


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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