When you can't get out of your head, get with loving friends that will lead you back to God.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.” —John 14:27 (CEB)
I headed out to the park for my morning run. I had such a passel of worries somersaulting through my brain that I could hardly take in the sun rising behind the clouds, flushing the sky with pink, nor the daffodils opening up in brave yellow flanks on the hillside. Not for nothing did Jesus say, “Consider now the lilies.”
I was on my first loop, dreading the hill, my steps slowing, my thoughts stuck on an absurd cycle of looming penury and decrepitude, when I saw a runner in a fluorescent-green jacket coming toward me. Was that Jim? Yes, it was. A history professor and writer, he’s always got something interesting to say.
“Can I join you?” he asked.
“Please,” I said.
The next two loops flew by as we discussed the book he was writing, the class he was teaching, how our sons were doing, and just how much easier it was to run uphill with a companion.
“Thanks a lot,” I said as we parted ways. “You were just what I needed.”
“You were too,” he said. “I never go that fast by myself.”
“I’ve forgotten already what I was worrying about.”
All the way home my eyes were open to the beauty of the day. Call it endorphins, call it sunshine, I’d say friendship was my boon companion. I recalled something preacher and writer Max Lucado once said: “When you’re really down, when you’re losing faith from excessive worry, get with your loving friends. They’ll lead you back to God.”
Two loops with my pal Jim did just that.
I give thanks, Lord, for the bounce that friends always put in my step. —Rick Hamlin
Digging Deeper: Proverbs 12:25, Ecclesiastes 4:9