From Vivien Vasquez, human resources associate director
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.
Our habits and hobbies are good teachers. I enjoy running early in the morning.
I don’t always enjoy doing it, but for the most part I push and sometimes force myself to get up and go.
One of those mornings when I was just not feeling it, I reluctantly got up from bed after a restless night, dressed up in my running gear and left the comfort of my home in order to “get it over with.”
That morning running was more of a chore than an enjoyment. I remember being already exhausted by the moment I put foot in the pavement.
How am I going to tackle those 4 miles wearing tiredness and dispassion, I questioned myself.
I proceeded to look for a meaningful Christian music playlist to listen to in hopes it will pick me up.
A few feet into my run, I decided to experiment and give an extra challenge to my lungs by singing out loud while running.
While this is not a good practice for oxygen preservation, I honestly felt that I could push myself to continue running even going uphill and I was huffing and puffing. I felt energized by the words I was listening and singing to. I felt like praising God; I felt empowered to push through!
However, a song came up which made me remember to pray for someone I love very much and seems to be far from God’s reach. I started to weep and even though I was going downhill, I felt so agitated that was having difficulty breathing enough to keep up with my running. My chest felt tight.
What a contrast, I thought.
While I was praising God, the uphill moments seemed bearable despite the toughness of the moment.
On the contrary, when I let despair and sorrow take over me, even going downhill felt asphyxiating.
This is my own experience with my spiritual life. I see it often. While I do not pretend that the vicissitudes or circumstances of life are easy to bear, I do choose, for the most part, to push through the darkness in praise and wonder. I believe I gain more taking that approach.
I invite you to try it. Both running and singing out loud while going uphill on this intense road called life.
Let's move for family worship time! Try prayer walking your neighborhood (depending on time of day and safety of your neighborhood). You can even try walking in place at home and praying for friends, family and neighbors.
Lord, Help us to inhale Your grace and exhale Your love in our interactions with family, friends, coworkers, classmates, neighbors and strangers. May we see each person with Your eyes, Your heart, and Your kindness and compassion. Guide us in the words and prayers we need to share and pray for the people you've placed in our life. Bring us all closer to Your kingdom as we spiritually grow in you. Amen.