‘”And Samuel said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty. For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.’” I Samuel 12:20-22
I pray a lot of times while I run. There’s just something about running that puts me in a reflective, spiritual mood. It feels good to be outside and release energy after sitting in an office all day, and I feel like I’m engaging with creation, smelling the Carolina pine straw at my feet, watching the sun go down, and taking care of the body the Lord has given me.
I don’t pray audibly, obviously, but I pray in the lyrics of songs I’m listening to. They usually aren’t even Christian songs. I figure God is big enough for anything, even if I’m making a Mumford & Sons song mean what I want it to mean as it blasts through my ear buds. The other day, I was listening to a song called “Lover of the Light” and these lyrics made my heart light and my feet sprint: But love the one You hold / And I’ll be Your goal / To have and to hold / A lover of the light.
I pictured the God of the universe holding me, then wrestled with the truth that He wants to hold me and does hold me. That’s the kind of intimacy and unity He desires with His people. No matter how much I mess up, the Lord desires to hold me because, as I Samuel 12:20-22 says, “It has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself.”
To have and to hold.
By Stephen Copeland
Stephen Copeland is a staff writer for Sports Spectrum magazine. Log in here to access our most recent Training Table. Subscribe here to receive 12 issues a year and a daily sports-related devotional.