You’ve probably heard the phrase hitting the wall. “In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk is a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles.” Okay, that sounds about right. I’ve never run a marathon, but I have run hard to be first in line at the Krispy Kreme … wow, that can be exhausting.
Okay, let me ask you this …. have you ever heard of “hitting the Lenten wall”. I think it comes somewhere in the middle of Lent. You’ve been doing pretty well after stumbling out of the gate… starting to hit your stride…prayer getting more constant, that Hershey Bar is not as tempting, a few extra bucks in the collection box ….. I’m being nicer to that particular “thorn on the flesh” that always seems to know how to “push my button”…… I’m doing pretty good …. pretty happy with myself, some are even starting to refer to me as “Mr. Holy”.
And then you hit the wall ….. woe, woe, woe !!! You can feel the “spiritual glycogen levels being depleted”. I’m getting a bit tired… I would really like a big Reese’s Pieces, this Lent seems to really be dragging ….. I wonder if I’m going to get an Easter Basket this year… I mean a real Easter Basket, not one with “gluten free donuts and “sugar free gummy worms”…. I’m talking serious chocolate.
Well, this is where the rubber hits the road during Lent. It’s where things really pay off, where we realize “no pain, no gain”. How will I respond? Will I quit…give up? Will I continue on, even if I have failed in my resolutions? Will I get my “second wind”? Auuuuuggggghhhhhh ….. I’m not sure I want to talk about it. I can hear the voice in my ear whispering… “Dave, don’t get carried away… don’t be a fanatic…. you’re already holy enough ….. what does God expect…..in truth, you shouldn’t even be fasting since you’re over 59…calm down and go have a hot dog.”
Holy Spirit, what shall I do ? What do you want me to do? I’m listening…. really, I’m listening. Well, if you are listening, I’m going to give you a few clues.
“Dave, it’s not about you…it’s not about you…. it’s about loving God and loving your neighbor….. pray, fast, and give alms in order to love your God and your neighbor….. if eating a Burger King will help you love me and your neighbor more completely, go for it and even add an order of fries…. but be honest with yourself.”
Hmmmmm. Well, here I am. I’m at the 18th mile of the Lenten Marathon… another 8.2 miles to go. I’ve gotten encouragement and advice from my coach (the Holy Spirit) and it’s time to get up and keep going. Holy Spirit help me. Help me to love. Help me to smile. Help me to encourage my family and friends. Wow, I can already feel those “glycogen levels in my spiritual muscles” getting stronger. Move over Eliud, here I come.
( Note: Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya is the current record holder in the Marathon.)