I wonder what it was like living in times of Aristotle, Julius Caesar, Xizong or Eric Bloodaxe? Travelling from one place to the next must have been a strenuous task. Moving, let’s say from Mombasa to Kisumu, must have been tantamount to skating on thin ice. Communication could similarly have presented significant challenges. How could someone in Susa send a message to one in Damascus?
Amazingly these glaring difficulties did not prevent our ancestors from savouring life. Probably those who will be born 300 years from now will be wondering how we survived. They will be reading our history in astonishment. Possibly by then, it will only take one hour to travel from Siberia to Argentina (like an ICBM). Perhaps the number of people living a sedentary lifestyle will be higher than now. However, there is a possibility that humans will have discovered a cure for most of the non-communicable diseases.
Fitness and health enthusiasts tell us that endurance exercises are extremely critical to our health. When combined with resistance exercises, the outcome is excellent.
In Ancient Greece, Pheidippides is reputed to have run until he dropped dead, but just after he had passed a message of triumph to the people of Athens. The Persians had been waging a battle against the Greeks at the Marathon. The outnumbered Greeks managed to outflank the Persians. Pheidippides, a military-trained day-long runner, had to dispatch good news to his people and the marathon he ran destroyed him.
When we get weary
No one can run incessantly. Exhaustion soon catches with us, and if care is not taken, then the outcome can be grave. No one runs without purpose. Every runner has a good reason for running.
Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. In the process of a life-run, one is bound to get exhausted. The puff runs out, and one has to slow down, stop and take a breather. It is the way of life.
There are those of us who run, get tired and collapse into torpid or worse death. Don’t wait until you are too tired to breathe. Slow down and rest.
In the Christian walk, one is likely to run out of gas once in a while. It is normal as we are mortal beings. At this point, the Lord Himself promises to renew our strength.
He gives strength to the weary.
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31 (NIV)
Whenever I feel fatigued, I always look upon the one who started the good work in me. I look at Him in faith. I position myself to keep hearing the word of God again and again, for, by it, I gain faith. I take time to meditate on the word of God.
This makes me summon the courage I need to keep fighting. It makes me face the lassitude with confidence as He reworks my systems afresh. With this, I can stand firm.
Prayer is another practice that is more than a mere tradition. It is one way that God uses to renew our strength. The praise in our prayers makes us lock unto His joy. His joy is a sound weapon against the weariness of the spirit.
Joy sings in prison and pantomimes in pain as it ushers in patience. Patience does not walk alone. It loves the camaraderie of charity. The more we dispense charity, the more charity we harvest. Expectations come afresh, and grace abounds when we fulfil this, as our lifestyle.