Friday, September 13, 2013

Coming home different

I had been trudging.  That's for sure.  I was getting slower and slower, slogging through my training schedule. My energy was leaking out like air from an old tire.

"Well, what are you listening to?"  my husband asked.  "That makes a big difference to me."

I hesitated and thought about it.  I don't know, I guess the same old loop of songs, over and over, sometimes a downloaded talk or two, but it is mostly all background noise to me. "That's the problem," he said.  He is an avid cyclist, aware not only of the sound but the cadence in his ears that travels all the way down his legs.

What he listens to impacts his entire ride.

"Try this," he said.  He selected a different playlist for me on Pandora, the Matt Redman channel, an unending strand of upbeat praise.

And then that morning, before I headed out, I changed shoes.  I took off my old clunkers with holes in the toes, and I laced on my light minimalist shoes.  I was afraid to leave behind those super-cushioned support shoes.  I need those, I thought. In my effort to do something different, I exchanged my go-to shoes for those that are like wearing nothing on my feet.  My right foot can't hurt any more than it already does, I justified.  When I put on the light shoes, they felt a little too comfortable on my feet.  "That can't be a good sign,"  I thought.  I half-expected to get to the end of the driveway and have to turn around, limping and defeated.

I started out with praise music pumping in my ears and my feet feeling surprisingly unburdened. "I shouldn't even be able to run in these shoes," I thought outloud.  I ran down the street and turned my usual corner at the little red house.  Instead of vegging out into my thoughts, I ran to the beat and the words of praise to God, one song of joy after another.  And my feet, well, that is what it feels like to be forgiven.  The lighter shoes actually changed my stride and all-but-eliminated my foot pain.  I had been holding onto something that only brought me down.

I came back different from that run, drenched in what praising God can do.  And I learned what makes the difference is not just what I'm listening to...but what song I'm singing inside.

O sing to the LORD
            a new song.

                 Psalm 98.1

For you shall go out in joy,
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
      shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field
                 shall clap their hands.

                  Isaiah 55.12

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