My time in the gym was over for the day and bits of me ached in ways they hadn’t for some time. The new routine was more challenging than I had expected. Nothing for it, time to sit down and enjoy a cuppa.
Later that evening I took a walk, more out of duty than enthusiasm. Feeling weary I promised myself this would be brief. Yet as I strolled slowly down the hill, I felt energy returning and with it my pace. Now I felt refreshed. The gym was working, but this afternoon reminded me that I needed to program in breaks as well.
The prophet Isaiah was no stranger to weariness. Jerusalem, where he lived in the late 7th and early 8th centuries BC, was a troubled place; frequently at war with their neighbours, and under the shadow of the growing power of Assyria. Throughout this period people looked for answers. Treaties were made and broken. Foreign powers bought-off with the temple treasure. The aid of foreign gods sought. All to no avail. Finally, about a century after Isaiah’s death, its’ people and its’ treasures exhausted, Jerusalem was largely destroyed by the Babylonians; God’s people deported.
My weariness was soon dispelled. The purpose of an exercise regime is to build fitness and stamina, and that can’t work unless we are stretched from time to time; boundaries pushed. However, to work best, the hard work-out needs to be balanced with respite. Not all weariness is as easy to resolve. The Babylonian exile lasted seventy years; seventy years for the people to reflect on what had gone wrong. I wonder if that is when they remembered Isaiah’s words, words their forebears had so foolishly ignored in their never-ending quest to solve their own problems.
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Is 40:31)
Today many of us are burdened with a weariness which is far more than the effect of an hour’s exercise. Are we looking too hard for solutions, when we should be waiting …. and listening as we wait?
Rev Philip Payne Trinity 2023
The Notice Sheet for 4th June can be found here