A Renewal of Strength

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjF59VB0h6g This clip is one of my favorites from one of my all-time favorite movies, "Chariots of Fire." I love this movie for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which are the theological themes that resonate so deeply throughout it for both of the main characters: Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell.

This particular scene, and the scripture read in it, has always been a source of strength for me; in no small measure because of the phenomenal way Ian Charleston, the actor playing Eric Liddell, delivers it (and of course the Vangelis score behind it).

I have days - sometimes weeks or even longer - where I feel defeated for one reason or another. I always try and get myself out of those little funks, but sometimes it isn't so easy. Ego, fatigue, and a bunch of other stuff that get thrown into the mix can make me feel very "stuck." I don't like the truth of that, but there it is.

In the face of this truth, Isaiah's words remind me of a number of important things that help ground me and put my head and heart back on course:

- "Behold, the nations are as a drop in the bucket and are counted as a small dust in the balance..."

My issues, though huge to me, are mostly just that: MY issues. They have far more to do with me and my own "stuff" and I can get way too wrapped up in that and feel like I'm not getting anywhere. Through the lens of Divine Vision, though, there is a far more profound perspective. Nations themselves are a small dust in the balance of all things...and sometimes so are the issues I wrap myself up in...and I need to put things in proper order and remind myself there is a bigger picture. Not always easy, but I try to keep myself in proper perspective.

- "Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that the Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not; neither is weary."

There is a deep well of strength to be drawn from in my times of feeling defeated, down, lost...and it stems from the core of my faith. The Spirit of God never tires, and is there to help me keep putting one foot in front of the other when I have a hard time doing it "on my own." I need to remember that deep well resides within me, and within the people around me in whom I encounter the Living God, as well.

- "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint."

This last quotation is one of my very favorite passages of scripture, because it speaks Truth to me. In turning my attention away from my own ego, my own self-generated issues, and focusing on what centers me my strength is renewed.

For me, that renewal stems from my own personal faith. It will certainly be something different for everyone: yoga, meditation, gardening, running, hiking, spending time with family, friends, and being in fellowship with others. Whatever it is that we tap into for ourselves to rouse us out of our frustrations, disappointments and worries...it is there for us if we remember to call upon it and not succumb to lesser feelings.

Whatever it is that renews one's energy and sense of Self - when one draws upon that strength we are able to run and not faint, to walk and not be weary.

May we always be reminded of this Truth - especially when we most need it.  I know I need reminding every once in a while, myself...

Peace, Shawn

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WINTER PARK

225 S. INTERLACHEN AVENUE

WINTER PARK, FL  32789

407 647 2416

fccwp@fccwp.org