“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
I talk more about running than I realize. Chalk it up to the zeal of the convert. I resisted and protested running in my teens and twenties only to discover a deep love of it now. I start most mornings with a free-roaming trot through our little borough and beyond.
I never would have discovered this love of running if I kept running as I had before. From childhood through Air Force training, the extent of run coaching I received was “runnnnnnnnnnn faster” mixed with some comments on my weight, slowness, or other characteristics ripe for ridicule. It was only after I set all that aside that I was introduced to the concept of easy running.
To run easy means to start out at a pace you can maintain more or less indefinitely. This is a run where you can carry on a conversation, take a phone call, and just keep control over your breath without difficulty. It means running slow, at least at first, and giving your body time to wake up and respond to the motion. Starting easy gave me the ability to push myself farther and faster without pain or injury.
I think this concept works well in all dimensions of our discipleship, too. We have days of clarity when we take stock of where we are in our lives, and sometimes get discouraged at how far we are from where we hoped we would be. Maybe you thought you’d be somewhere in your relationships, career, finances, or any other arena, and it’s just not the case.
But we can’t see that deficit and decide it’s time to sprint to catch up. No, that’s the quickest way to burn up and burn out. Lace-up your shoes and start out easy. It’s amazing how far a concerted effort in the right direction can carry you, and it’s never too late to get back out there and run.
Jesus invites us to take up our crosses and follow after him and to put on this easy yoke and light burden for ourselves, too. It’s not generally an all-at-once thing. There is a process of formation, maturation, and growth that we embark on each day and in the disciplines of the faith. These practices shape us in a Christward direction to where we see things and can’t help but say things. Like every run, though, it starts with that first, brave step, and then repeats with each step throughout your life. Be encouraged and get moving.
Grace and Peace,
Each week we will work to create a safe, inviting space for worship for those who participate in person while also livestreaming for those participating at home. If the desire for distanced in-person worship increases, we will add an additional service to maintain the recommended distance between worshippers until the pandemic is over. If you have questions or would like to help out, please reply to this message.
Nominations Season is Here
Each year we invite new people to lead different aspects of the church’s ministries. If you are eager or interested in giving your time please contact Pastor Ben. If you are asked, consider it an invitation to something good and worthwhile and say “yes!”
Worship with Flemington UMC on Facebook
Each Sunday at 10:30am, reach for your phone, tablet, computer, or other internet-connected device for a time of music, prayer, scripture, and preaching. Watching live gives the opportunity to comment in real-time with prayer requests, updates on your life, and more, but if you view the service later you can still comment and share prayer requests and experiences from your life with your church.
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The videos are all accessible there without the need to create an account or login. If you have technical questions, please reach out.