I love it when the timing works out well. I always listen to Classical music when I’m driving, so when a piece begins just as I set out, and lasts just about the entire duration of my journey, I’m tickled pink. As most Classical tunes and car rides last longer than the traditionally “radio friendly” three to five minutes, enjoying one extended sound bit is very satisfying. It’s as if each individual voyage has a theme set by the particular piece of music chosen by the radio station. I love when that happens!
Thinking about this happy coincidence, and pondering the many pieces of music I like within the Classical genre, a particular thought came to mind: “Wow! Those players have great endurance!” After all, once they start playing, there is very little rest for much of the orchestra. Realizing that some scores last forty minutes or so, it’s staggering to think that some players play for almost that entire length of time. That’s what I call endurance!
Much of our culture isn’t used to music that might last for an hour or so. Indeed, much of our culture isn’t used to anything that lasts too long. From shopping for groceries to staying in one job, we’ve become more and more accustomed to brief spurts rather than long-haul experiences. It seems like we are living more in terms of the quick, three minute “radio friendly” song rather than the long, carefully paced symphony. Forget the marathon; we’re all sprinting now. Endurance? Who needs it?
Well, all of us do. While our lives play out from day to day, most of us have thousands of days to live. Each day builds on those that went before it and informs the ones that are to come. Sure, sometimes we’re so busy that one day flashes by in an instant, while others seem to drag on for eternity. But every day is more like a breath, a continuous inhaling and exhaling that sets the pace for our existence. There are a few lives that are quick sprints; they come and go almost before we know it. For most of us, however, whose lives are measured in decades of years, life is a long, steady run that requires patience and endurance.
God created us for the long haul, blessing us with gifts and talents to use and enjoy along the way. Christ accompanies us on our journey, like a beautiful song blessing us with hope, strength and joy. As we make our way through our existence, we are invited to share our blessings with others, helping them to more forward just as they often help us. Throughout, our God’s Holy Spirit fills us with the life and wisdom we need for our travels so that we might not just endure the journey, but enjoy every moment of it.