Below is a wonderful country road where I like to go on a long run. The run I am describing today was in the dead of winter, but the setting is still beautiful, especially when the ground is snow-covered.
At this point, 7 miles into my run, my body felt a little tired. This tiredness reminds me of what Mr. Littler, my high school track coach, used to say during a hard workout. “You’re not that tired, Baker, you just think you are!” Back in those days I was a hardened agnostic, and the coach’s words would inspire me to grit my teeth harder and dig down a little deeper, dredging up some good running masochism. The idea that I could depend on something outside of myself while running (or doing just about anything in my life) was alien to me.
Here in 2017, though, instead of gritting my teeth I had a musical pathway to God. I did not have my headphones with me so I put on an instrumental worship music station which played out of my pocket. Gentle Praise is a worship music mix which bills itself as “designed to be a respite anytime that you need to focus on the things of God.”
As I listened, I began to thank and praise the Lord out loud!
This worship refreshed my spirit ……and that fed back to my body…. I didn’t feel so tired. That draws me to Jesus’ words on weariness:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Of course, Jesus’ words apply to more than just running. And now I know that the real win over weariness comes from outside ourselves, not from digging deeper within ourselves. So, we can even experience refreshment amid all the tumult that life in 2017 can bring. When we are weary, may we enjoy worship that draws us upwards to experience more of Jesus.