Thoughts and Meditations from verses and stories through one guy's head and heart... Psalm 124:7
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It’s really cold today. I mean, really cold. I did not want to go running in this weather, but I did anyway because I need to. I was talking to Tom about it and he said that running in the freezing cold is the best. He said the only way it could be any better is when you run in the pouring rain and bitter cold. I wondered how on earth this could possibly be a good thing and he said that when you run in those conditions you know for a fact that you are alive… and fully alive. Not like those folks all warm and comfy in their offices with central heating… no, those folks are protecting themselves from life, but not you; you’re in it, feeling it and knowing that you’re fully alive… well I say, “Whatever.” I got out there in that ridiculousness and let me tell you, it’s mainly just really cold.
So there I was, freezing my tail off with sore legs and tired eyes from lack of sleep jogging up and down the relentless hills of Outer Drive when a delicious temptation to stop running came over me like a wave. Look, my entire run was only going to be three miles, and I know that’s not a ton, but I was exhausted and sore with chapped lips and icicles in my lungs. Not only that, but my run was about to go from somewhat hard to really stinking hard. You see, the last few tenths of this particular run are a climb… and not just a climb, but this intense uphill that punishes me without a second thought. I was getting close to the intersection of Outer and Georgia with the big climb looming ahead while this germ of an idea to just walk the rest of the way back was growing stronger every second. I would quit… no big deal, it was just a run. I’ll finish it another day. I can quit…
Then something happened… something changed my plans and pumped me so full of adrenaline that I destroyed that hill with joyful determination! Something went from the depths of my iPod straight into the depths of my Spirit and super-charged me to make it to the end. No, it wasn’t The Eye of The Tiger or Jock Jams. It was an audio Bible… it was someone simply reading the Scriptures that got me, but it wasn’t the end of Isaiah 40 about eagles wings and all that; it was the end of the book of Colossians where Paul sends the greetings of his companions to the church at Colossae. In chapter 4, amid the shout-outs of guys like Mark and Epaphras, Paul says, “Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.”
So, what was it about that verse that got me so fired up to finish? Well, when I first heard it I just felt really sad. You see, Colossians 4 is not the only time Paul mentions Demas… Later on, at the end of 2 Timothy (and the end of Paul’s life) he says, “Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.” Demas was a quitter. He fell away because he fell in love with this world! He didn’t make it to the finish line! When I heard Paul so sweetly give the greeting of Demas to the Colossians, I thought about how he didn’t know at that time that Demas would eventually quit and fall away, but I did! I’ve read 2 Timothy and I don’t want to be like Demas! When I heard that greeting, I decided I would never quit walking this walk! Never fall away by loving this stupid old world! And never stop running until I got to the top of this hill! Let’s not quit! Let’s make it, right to the very last.