Persevering in the Grey

I opened my eyes.  The missing sun cast its presence by its absence.  Another dreary day.  September had been full of them.  I sighed.  Somehow I would have to get up the energy to be productive for another day.  With or without the sun.  I hadn’t realized just how much its bright presence cheers me.   As I stepped into the early morning, the humid air became a sticky blanket on my skin.  So…it was dreary and humid.

As I went about eating my breakfast and tidying the house, I argued with myself as to why this would not be a good day to exercise.  I had had the same losing argument with myself for every dreary day the past month.  And there were a lot of them.  It just wasn’t a good day to exercise.  Surely, I don’t need to exercise in such conditions.  In the meantime, by body, while not really gaining in pounds, had deteriorated substantially in tone and shape.

From somewhere deep inside, I recognized that I was going to have to push through the grey.  Push through the humidity.  Persevere.  I reluctantly walked upstairs to put on my running clothes.  Then I grabbed my iphone, my headphones, and headed out the door.

The first mile was tough.  The stickiness melted my clothing to my body.  Even when I was only walking.  I kept going.  I started to jog.  I knew, even though this wasn’t fun, that I was doing the right thing.  Not just for me.  But for my family.  I am a much better “me” when I exercise.   As I jogged, the flourescent pink trim and laces on my new running shoes made me smile.  There was a little brightness everywhere…if you took the time to look for it.

As I ran, I listened to these promising lyrics:

Everyday’s a brand new day
A chance to undo my mistakes
And be the me I know that I can be

Count my blessings one by one
Grateful for what God has done
Spending more time down upon my knees**

As I listened to this song, God showed me that my life choices weren’t so very different from this run of mine.  Every day, we are given the opportunity to make choices.  Good ones.  Bad ones.  The good ones are so much easier to make when the sun is shining.  When there is a crisp breeze in the air.  When the flowers and fields are sparkling in the sunshine.  But when it is grey…when all is dreary and dismal around us, then the good choices are harder.

When we lose our best friend…when we get sick…when our spouse is struggling at work…when a child is rebellious…these are the times our minds cajole us,  saying things like:  “Eat what you want.  You deserve it.  Watch TV and escape the world.   Go shopping.  Go golfing.  Escape with this book.  Play this video game.  Because you will feel better if you do this.”

But you never do.  You never feel better.  You always feel worse.  Oh, maybe for a minute or two I will feel some satisfaction from eating some Chocolate Chip Mint ice cream.  But as soon as the last bite is done…if I am eating it for the wrong reason…then the guilt comes.

As I finished my exercise with a brisk walk, the sun made a brief appearance and I heard this in my headphones “Now the bridge leads on…to a brighter dawn. It’s waiting for me.”  And I realized that the bridge does lead on.  That we who love Jesus Christ have the hope of an eternal dawn.  Where there are no grey days.  We need to persevere…we need to make good, wise choices–no matter what our circumstances– as we move ever closer towards that eternal, brighter dawn that is waiting for us in glory.

**Higher Calling by Blessid Union of Souls

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