There’s a modern proverb that says, “Life is a marathon, not a sprint.” A quick web search for “life is a marathon” brings up over 14 million search results. As a runner, I can easily connect with this phrase, but I believe everybody can. Most people seem to know that everyday things, the day-to-day activities of life, such as work, school, relationship, and even recreation, are marathons. To do it well, one must have persistence and endurance to see it to the end. The Bible echos this sentiment and contains many such passages, as well. Hebrews 12:1 says, “…let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.”
One running story, though, that I love is in 1 Kings 19:1-18. Go ahead and give is a quick read. I’ll wait.
Elijah, surely one of the first ultramarathon runners, travels about 100 miles to escape death at the hands of Jezebel. On the journey he is fed by an angel and finds himself at a cave in Mt. Horeb. After this little jog through the Judean wilderness, Elijah has a chance to see God. But God comes not in the earthquake, wind, and fire; instead, he comes in the “sheer silence.” Imagine how good that must have felt for Elijah after his journey. God doesn’t require pomp and circumstance to be known and heard. Instead, God chose to be revealed in a way that Elijah needed most. He was in sheer silence, in rest, in the quiet places. And I’m convinced that God still longs to be heard in this way.
So my challenge for you this month is this; find a way to give God some silence in your life. Whether it’s an activity, (like running), a place, or a state of mind, I hope you can find some time of silence. God offers us rest from the weariness of everyday life. So come, be fed like Elijah, and find rest in the presence of God.
St. James Blog
Periodic notes and updates from the staff of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mason City, Iowa