I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. March is one of my favorite months of the year. It is a time of being almost there, and this year more than ever. I actually spoke at my church last night about Psalm 121 which scholars believe Jewish pilgrims sang the night before reaching Jerusalem. It’s an unabashedly hopeful song sung by a tired crowd who is almost there. In short, it’s perfect for where we all are right now.
The problem — well one of the problems — was I felt a bit of brain fog last night. When I finished I felt unsure if I had delivered the whole talk. Did I skip whole pages of my prepared remarks? Did it flow at all? Although it was recorded I’m not planning to listen to it, like ever. I have no interest in confirming my worst fears.
Then this morning when I went upstairs to make sure Nate was awake, my knees felt like I’d run ten miles yesterday, despite doing nothing strenuous whatsoever. As I hobbled my way back downstairs I had an epiphany. The brain fog and the knee pain have an explanation. The explanation is I have an English muffin addiction. My favorite coffee shop/bakery (Niedlov’s) in Chattanooga sells English muffins that are the tastiest morsels of toasted goodness on the planet. My so-called friend, Susan, introduced me to this glutenous crack about six months ago. I had been happily spending time at Niedlov’s for five years before I tried the English muffin. But my three-muffin indulgence yesterday (no I’m not exaggerating, although I ate almost nothing else) was like a controlled experiment proving once and for all that gluten is not kind to my brain nor to my joints. So if you see me trying to purchase a six-pack of muffins please, for the love of God, intervene.
Paul wrote so beautifully about self-discipline: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
I want to run in such a way, spiritually and physically, to get the prize. Gluten is a hurdle I keep throwing in my own path. Do you have ways that you self-sabotage your spiritual and physical goals? Because Spring is a great time for a reset.
On a different note, I walked to my car last night with a woman who is old enough to be my mother, a woman who I was blessed to meet when I first moved to Tennessee. I could not have spent a full five minutes with her, but we talked about a wide variety of topics in our brief interaction. She made me laugh so hard, and then she made a super timely and profound statement about a situation in my life. This kind of social snippet has been discarded by leaders and decision-makers as inconsequential. The truth is it’s priceless. Praise the Lord she didn’t “stay home” last night.
So, my friend, we are almost there. May we not sabotage our own races and always cherish our people. Have a fabulous weekend!