[Photo:Daley Hake]

When I was a runner, yes…I was a runner once, I used to hit mile ten and start reciting Nehemiah 8:10. “The Joy of the Lord is my strength”. With every pounding on my right foot I would hit on another beat of the phrase. I would recite that bad boy for miles. Like somehow reciting it was making me stronger. Giving me more endurance. My cross country teammates thought I was crazy. Especially since I NEVER recited that verse unless I was running. At that time I had no idea what the crap it meant. I had never read Job. I had never really needed the Lords strength. I did once when Stephanie Herring played my love “mixed tape” I made for her at some party. But that’s about it.

Now I look at my life and realize what it was I was gasping all those miles down Ponce De Leon Ave. That it had nothing to do with my finishing the race. That it had everything to do with simply running. I am going to finish this race with joy or without. I know lots who are choosing to run without it. And I have to fight my calloused, burdened, lame self on a daily basis to replace myself with His joy. Because no matter how much I love my family, love my job, love my trendy social causes, none of it gives me any lasting joy.

Last night when I went to bed, I was filled with joy for my family. This morning I woke up to Sohaila’s cold feet finding their way onto my left butt cheek. Joy…gone. While I was taking the trash out this morning and saw my beautiful wife, her first words to me were…”I’m still kinda annoyed at you from last night.” Joy…gone. As I went to give Seanna a hug goodbye she rolled her eyes at me and grunted some 3 year old cuss word. Joy…gone. By this point I was not even going to go find Losiah.

See how easy it is for me to lose my joy? That’s because it was not real. It was all based on my skewed, Inner feelings. Not based on the Truth Outside of me. The Truth that tells me that Life actually will suck. Probably more often than not. But if I stop trying to get my beautiful family, perfect worship set, approval from peers, and blog stats to give me joy, I probably will find it.

And it’s there my friends, where I NEVER look, that I find His joy.

Then I’m strong.
Los

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