I should begin by explaining that this week's musical montage does not necessarily feature songs to load up on your iPod for actual running. It seems that I've given running up in exchange for watching television. But now that I'm another year older, I have decided that I should reconsider my decision. Especially if I want to keep eating things like Vegan Grasshopper Cake from The Grit as I continue to march toward my golden years.
Today I'm going to focus on a type of running that I am really good at. As in, marathon quality runner. It's running from God. Whoa, this post suddenly got a little heavy. Stick with me. A couple of weeks ago at church we finished up a series on Jonah. By "we", I mean that I listened while Andy Stanley taught. For those of you who have forgotten the felt board version of Jonah's story from VBS, he ran so far from what God told him to do that he ended up in the belly of a whale. [Gross.] But there's more to the story that goes far beyond the felt board version. Andy's explanation is much clearer, funnier, and thorough than I could ever clearly relay so if you find yourself in the situation at work and your office network is down and Internet Explorer is working like a champ, check it out here. The series is called "White Flag". And it's awesome. If you don't time to listen though, after I share my "running" songs, I'll conclude this post with the theme and moral of the book of Jonah, in addition to my favorite quote of Andy's from the entire series. But first, please enjoy the music while your party is being reached...
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen. Ok, so maybe this would be a good song to have playing in the background as you take to the open roads on a cool, crisp morning as you knock out a quick 5 miles. It just so happens that's about what I do each morning...on my drive in to work.
Run by Collective Soul. Remember Collective Soul? Have I got a long way to run? Goodness, I hope not.
Running to Stand Still by U2. I try not to repeat songs in this little soundtrack segment that I do, but I love it. By far my favorite U2 song. And sometimes when we do run, aren't we running so we can get to the place where we can stop? How often when we run, do we know that we're running from something without a single clue as to what we're actually running to?
Run, Baby, Run by Sheryl Crow. Y'all. Sheryl Crow is 49. I hope I look as good as she does when I reach that age [20 years from now - ha!]. Do you think if I resume running that I have a better chance? What? Eating more cake is actually the secret of aging gracefully? Speaking of cake...
The Distance by Cake. Let's all hop in the Delorian and do a little time traveling back into the 1990's for this one folks! Have you all heard their new song though? It's called "Sick of You". Oh how I love Cake. ...of multiple varieties.
Run by George Strait. What's not to love about this song? Nothing. That's what.
Runaway by Bon Jovi. We're all little runaways when it comes right down to it. Now, if I knew that JBJ was waiting for me at the end of my run, I might be encouraged to run a little more quickly. Just sayin'.
Glory Defined by Building 429. You know the good thing for us is that no matter how far or how fast we run from God, we will never outrun him. And maybe while we're running, he's not going to chase us but simply wait for us to come back. Because when the chaos that results from our running gets to be too much or those things that we thought were worth the running prove otherwise, inevitably we will run back to God because deep down in our gut, we know that he's what we need. [I know that was longest sentence ever.] You know, like cake is what we want but vegetables are what we need. And we can only eat so much cake before our teeth begin to hurt. I digress.
So, back to the aforementioned theme, moral, and quote...
The theme of Jonah is found in Jonah 4:2 - "He [Jonah] prayed to the LORD, ...'I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity'."
The moral of Jonah is found in Jonah 4:9-11 - Ok, so I hyperlinked the actual scripture but Andy boiled it down to this: Jonah was a good man but he was concerned with all the wrong stuff. [Yikes...I feel like my name could quite easily replace Jonah's.]
The biggest takeaway for me:
"God is generous with his grace and thorough in his discipline." - Andy Stanley [See Jonah 2.]