My tired old body needing some exercise, I joined a health club. Often I go with my 16-year old daughter. Sometimes I’m by myself.
Like many things in life, it was hard to begin, but after a little while, I was motivated and actually started to enjoy it. The first time I went on the elliptical machine, I could barely do 3 minutes. I thought, “Oh, that one’s not for me. Stay away!” Everything hurt during and after its use. Knowing, I needed cardio exercise, I relented and returned to the elliptical. Slowly, but steadily, I improved. Last week I got up to 32 minutes! I was pumped!!!!
I have found the one thing that helps me push through the “Oh, that’s enough” feeling is music. My iPod has lots of different music on it, but I put together a specific playlist of songs for exercising. They are mostly upbeat Jesus songs. When the beat is strong, it propels me forward. “I’ll just go to the end of this song,” I say to myself as I pray the lyrics, and I end up going longer than I thought possible. It’s not simply music, but prayer and praise.
Yesterday, I listened to a song I haven’t heard in a while, Your Love is Extravagant by Casting Crowns, not an upbeat, keep-you-going song, but one that is a little slow and melodic. It brought me to a place of memory and gratitude – remembering His love with great thanksgiving for His blessings.
I live a pretty quiet life, rather solitary at times. I used to have music blasting in my home all the time, but that seems to have changed over time. I realized yesterday how important it is for me to be reminded of God’s great love for me and mine for him. I find music does that for me in a very distinct way.
So I thought I’d share with you some of the music on my playlist. I invite you to find music that propels you on through the day – music that will draw you into praise and worship and reminders of God’s great love for you. Play it and let it lift you higher. Sometimes that’s all we need to keep us moving forward.
By Twila Paris
By Stephen Curtis Chapman
By Casting Crowns
By Hillsongs of Australia
And, of course, any of the choral pieces from Handel’s Messiah.
Off to the gym!
St. Jude, patron saint of perseverance, pray for us! Anne