Since I’ve been eating differently, I’ve also been exercising. And by exercising I mean that I walk the stairs at work. Twenty-two flights of stairs. I figure the smokers get their smoke breaks–why not a health break, right? Thus, I try to go up the stairs three times a day, five days a week.
When I first started, I huffed and puffed, and was generally out of breath; now, my legs don’t really get tired, nor am I nearly as winded. It’s not gripping–it’s not a nature walk, or a hike, but I guess it counts for something, right?
For the longest time, it took me seven minutes to get to the top of those twenty-two flights; now, I’ve mostly got it down to six. That’s right, six minutes to the top. I know, this from a self-avowed “hater of exercise.” I can hardly believe it myself.
Sometimes, though, ok, a lot of times, it feels like a walk to nowhere. The weight isn’t coming off as fast as it was. The exercise is monotonous, tedious.
Sometimes–a lot of times–my faith feels like this, too. A walk to nowhere. The Bible is stale, dry, God seems distant, silent. I wonder the value of this exercise of faith. Where does it get me? Where will it lead me?
It’s like trying to climb Jacob’s ladder, and endless rungs are continuously being added. I never reach the top.
Do you ever feel that way?
But then I guess I’m not supposed to reach the top here, in this life, right? We don’t reach the top, right? A lifelong faith walk takes a little longer than six minutes to get to its destination.
And maybe that’s what it’s about–the exercise of the faith: I won’t arrive–we won’t arrive–at our soul’s destination until the mortal coil has been shuffled off.
Just as my faithful pursuit of physical exercise will reap some eventual rewards–a healthier body–so, too, will the faithful exercise of faith. Especially through the dry times. It’s not easy, but has its own rewards.
Maybe that’s what God wants: faithfulness. In season, and out.
As it says in the liturgy:
“O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
Increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal,
that we lose not the things eternal;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
What’s your experience been? How do you handle the dry seasons?