lørdag 16. september 2017

Marathon and Momentum

NORSK
Today is the annual Oslo Marathon and if I were in Norway, I would have taken part - at least in the 10 km. It's been four years since I last ran and there are several reasons for me not taking part over the past years: 


In the autumn of 2014 we had just arrived Stavanger and all weekends were busy with meetings and events for the new DCs. By 2015, we had just arrived Moldova, and the same matters with a full program were again valid. Mind you, it would have been irresponsible to spend a lot of savings on traveling for at least 8 hours to Oslo just for the sake of running 21 km. 
In the autumn of 2016 I was happy for just being able to walk 5 km (1).

This morning I was up early and ran 10 km at the average speed of 5:28 per km. By comparison, I had 5:27 as average speed at the Oslo half marathon in 2013. For me it is a small miracle that today's 10 km held the same speed.

Today's run is not really an achievement in itself, I just ran and enjoyed it. But the way to get there has costed pain and discomfort, mixed with careful optimism when I noticed progress. I just needed to keep the momentum. 18 months ago, I sometimes doubted that I would be able to run again, and the doctors could not give me any promises. The reason why I chose to challenge the knee's protests, is the sense of physical, and even more important, of mental well-being that I get from running. I had to sacrifice something to achieve something good. 

Furthermore, the reason for me writing this blog is simply that this period of getting back in shape, contains a principle that is valid in most areas of life - even the spiritual area.

Salvation is free, but discipleship is costly, was one of Bonhoeffer’s statements. If I want to experience the good progress or the momentum, which actually is Latin for a move in the right direction, then I must be willing to pay the price. And that price is not a one-time-effort, but a conscious daily choice.

I revert to the example of running. Although I am a morning bird, I have never liked running in the morning. However, in this part of the world with temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees for more than four months in the summer, it is hazardous to run during the day and evening. Then, I can either choose to scrap running or run when I do not like running. Eventually it has become OK to run in the morning - at least when I think of the option of running in + 35.

I am going to focus on "Momentum" in the next months – that does not mean that I return to daily blogging, however, I will probably post some thoughts now and then. It was Jesus who started the motion when he commanded the disciples: "Go therefore!" Matthew 28:19 - and Paul urged his readers:

Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Phil 3:16 (The Message)
When that happens, I believe for a revival in Eastern Europe and Half-marathon in Oslo in the autumn of 2018.
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(1) My knee was badly damaged in a terrorist-attack 12 Jan 2016

Maraton og Momentum

ENGLISH
I dag er det Oslo Maraton og jeg skulle gjerne vært der. Det er allerede fire år siden sist jeg løp, og det er flere grunner til at jeg ikke har løpt siden 2013. Høsten 2014 hadde vi akkurat ankommet Stavanger og alle helgene var opptatt med møter og arrangement. I 2015 var vi nettopp ankommet Moldova, og de samme hensyn til program var gyldige, samtidig som det er uforsvarlig å bruke 
masse sparepenger på å reise minimum 8 timer for å løpe et par mil. I 2016 var jeg fornøyd fordi jeg klarte å gå 5 km.

I morges benyttet jeg anledningen til å løpe 10km, og jeg brukte 5:28 per km. Til sammenlikning hadde jeg 5:27 som gjennomsnittsfart på Oslo halvmaraton i 2013. For meg er det et lite under at dagens 10km gikk i samme fart. Dagens økt er for så vidt ikke en prestasjon, jeg bare løp, og koste meg. Men veien dit har kostet smerte og ubehag, blandet med forsiktig optimisme når jeg merket det det var fremdrift. 

For 18 måneder siden tenkte jeg at jeg neppe kom til å løpe igjen, og legene kunne ikke love noe. Grunnen til at jeg likevel utfordret kneets protester (1), er den følelsen av fysisk og ikke minst mental velvære jeg får av å løpe. Jeg måtte ofre noe for å oppnå noe bedre. 

Videre er grunnen til at jeg skriver dette i en blogg ganske enkelt at dette er et prinsipp som er gyldig i på de aller fleste områder i livet – også på det åndelige området.

Frelsen er gratis, men disippellivet koster, skrev Bonhoeffer. Dersom jeg vil oppleve den gode fremdriften eller at det er et momentum som det heter på latin, altså at det er bevegelse i en riktig retning, så koster det. Og - den kostnaden er ikke et skippertak, men et bevisst daglig valg. 

Tilbake til eksempelet med løping. Selv om jeg egentlig er en morgenfugl, har jeg aldri likt å løpe om morgenen. Med temperaturer mellom 30 og 40 grader i ca fire måneder i sommerhalvåret, er det helsefarlig å løpe om dagen og kvelden. Da må jeg enten velge bort løping, eller å løpe når jeg ikke liker å løpe. Etter hvert så blir det helt OK å løpe om morgenen – i hvert fall når jeg tenker på alternativet å løpe i + 35.

Jeg kommer til å fokusere på «Momentum» i tiden fremover. Jesus satte disiplene i bevegelse med sitt: «Gå derfor!» Matt 28:19 – og vi fortsetter med oppfordringen fra Paulus:

La oss bare, så langt vi er kommet, fortsette i samme spor!Fil 3:16
Da kan det bli vekkelse i Øst-Europa og Halvmaraton i Oslo høsten 2018. 

NB - English version will be published later today!
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(1) Kneet mitt ble relativt alvorlig skadet under en terroraksjon i Istanbul 12 jan 2016.

fredag 1. september 2017

Our new appointment has been released

From 1 January 2018, the General has appointed us as territorial leaders in Eastern Europe. This implies increased responsibility, however, we will continue to live in Chisinau where we have lived since 28 July 2015 in addition to three years from 2004-2007. We are grateful for the trust, but humble when we think about the scope of the task.

When the Chief of Staff last week informed me that he wanted a conversation with us, I once again, and in a strange way, was reminded of the words of Jesus when he taught about the vine, and said: 


“…apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5b. 

It is true with regard to everything we do in the Kingdom of God, and in all the appointments we have received. It is He who commissions, and if I do not let him work through me, the best result I can hope for is to maintain the organisation.

We are pleased that we will still work for four months together with the current territorial leaders, Rodney and Wendy Walters. We have tried to support them in their work and have experienced tremendous support from them in the responsibility we have had, this is also true on the personal level after the terrorist attack in Istanbul in January 2016. We will miss them as leaders and friends and wish them God’s abundant blessings when they from 1st January 2018 will be the territorial leaders in Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar. Even though they will still be 8 hours by plane away from their family, we rejoice with them in the fact that they now will be much closer to ‘home’.

We are grateful for the great team of good colleagues and friends we have both at the THQ in Chisinau and in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia. Thank you for praying for the great mission of The Salvation Army throughout the territory, for all our colleagues in mission and for us – we know very well that “...apart from Him we can do nothing.”