Put on another song

It is hard to run without a soundtrack backing you up.

Last week when I was about 15 minutes into my run, my phone (acting as my timekeeper and mp3 player) froze, probably because of an incoming email or text message. The music stopped. I guessed from another clock hanging on the wall how much longer I needed to go, and started plowing through.

Running in relative silence is tough. There was no beat to help me keep up my pace, and all I had to focus on was my heavy breathing and my feet hitting the gym floor, mixed with the sounds of Angry Birds flying through the air from the games my kids were playing.

I usually run to the same music every time I run. I know exactly what songs are coming and how many I have left. But most importantly, they help get my mind and heart focused on the reason I am running in the first place: God. My running time is my personal worship time.

When I began this running routine, these songs kept my feet going in praise to my Creator. The lyrics helped me to pray while moving forward. This is the time of the day when it’s me and God, and the music caused me to recognize and worship.

Worship syncs my life to the rhythm of God’s heartbeat. 

Worship brings clarity. So many times during a run, God has spoken to me about a mission he has for me, a person I need to pray for and encourage, or an area of sin in my life that He and I need to deal with.

Personal worship is incredibly important for every Christian to cultivate. Each of us need one-on-one time with Jesus, just talking, praising, thanking, listening. It requires making room in the schedule. It can be during a run, in the car while on the commute to work, or in the shower, but it must be intentional. Just as we want our spouse or best friend’s full attention when having a conversation, rather than texting someone else the whole time or being distracted with a TV show, God deserves that from us, too.

So, turn on the music. Crank the volume. And, worship the God who gave you breath and life.

The following is a video of one of my playlist songs I run to. I know it’s not upbeat, but the lyrics get my heart going. 🙂

Swingin’ and Singin’

As a child, I was known in our neighborhood.

Almost daily, I would go out into our backyard and swing, sometimes for an hour or more. And, while I was swinging I would sing praise songs to Jesus, at the top of my lungs.

I would sing songs I’d learned at church, songs I’d heard on the radio, songs I’d played over and over again on tape. I would sing every song I could think of, and then sing them again. And every song was sung at top volume, my little voice carrying over the wooden fence and wafting to all of my neighbors.

I was, of course, oblivious that my singing was being overheard. I was just expressing my joy, and my heart was loud.

This morning, I was pushing Jackson on the swing, and he started singing “Jesus loves the little children” at the top of his lungs while flying back and forth.

I encouraged him to keep singing, and to let his praises to Jesus ring loudly. You are never to young to let your joy echo in the wind, to burst out in song to the Savior! Even if every neighbor hears, a child’s praise should not be contained.

The LORD is my strength and my shield;
   my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.
My heart leaps for joy,
   and with my song I praise him.

– Psalm 28:7