Among the teachings in his first letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul gave what some Bible translations subtitle, “Concerns for Married Life.” Included in the passage in chapter seven, Paul speaks to pastors…or would-be pastors, with an admonition summarized here by the late Eugene Peterson in his paraphrase, “The Message.”
“Because of the current pressures on us from all sides, I think it would probably be best to stay just as you are. Are you married? Stay married. Are you unmarried? Don’t get married. But there’s certainly no sin in getting married, whether you’re a virgin or not. All I am saying is that when you marry, you take on additional stress in an already stressful time, and I want to spare you if possible.”
Peterson and Paul’s perspective is the backdrop for this sequence of audio and written reflections based on the book, “Who Prays for the Pastor?” by Fredrick Ezeji-Okoye.
As we completed the previous installment, Vikki and Jules were about to begin their early-morning long distance Chicago Marathon training, timing their start in pre-dawn darkness in order to be finished with minimal overlap -- read, "running into" -- people competing in the Fox Valley Marathon on the same trail.
The first wave of runners was scheduled to take off at 7 AM, about the same time Vikki would have completed her first six miles, turned around, and headed toward her scheduled 16-mile finish from the opposite direction.
In order to do so, Vikki, Michael and Jules had scheduled a 5:30 AM rendezvous to allow for pre-run schedule-check, rest room visit, and prayer before starting to run at 6 AM.
It was a Francis Scott Key kind of morning: "Oh, say...by the dawn's early light?"
This particular Sunday was not just another long-distance training day.
They had spent Saturday mapping out the plan for Sunday; a more intricate collaboration than had occurred in previous planning sessions. There's something to be said for Experience being a teacher.
Their phone call was about an hour, going over and again the start time, the drive time, the water stops, the energy shots, the traffic flow.
Distance had its own importance. Vikki had not completed any of her previous double-digit goals. Today's 16-mile run was admirable; however, she was struggling, lamenting that it should be 20. Twenty is the optimum number of miles a marathon runner should run in a training session before race day, and three, the optimum number of weeks that 20 should be run. Twenty miles were what Jules ran on the same day three years ago when she was getting ready for the Chicago Marathon . That same day, Vikki ran her first 26.2-miler. The Fox Valley Marathon. Today was the third anniversary of that sub-five-hour hoof.
Vikki is starting the last 30 days of training for her second successive Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 7.
Besides the work (running, stretching, body strengthening), she's shaping her "VikkiThonPlaylist -- songs she'll be listening to while running. In the training process, we'll highlight some of the songs on her playlist and her thoughts of why they're there.)
"My playlist is a mix of 'church music' and 'pop music..' Some may wonder about the latter, however, in either case, Vikki says, " I'm able to hear God's voice through the lyrics."
By Vikki J. Myers, Co-Founder, Worship Leader
Day #20 of #21DangerousPrayers is from Acts 9:10 - Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”
This morning we're privileged to be engaged in theater ministry at Waukegan Community Church. Each time God gives us an opportunity it is fun, frightening, exhilarating and intense all at the same time. Our scripts are full of scripture in keeping with our motto "The Best script is Scripture. (TM)"
The KIT 'n' Kaboodle Blog
The essays here are culled from our travels, conversations, worship experiences and discoveries.
Many are reprints from our newsletter, The KIT 'n' Kaboodle, or Facebook notes over time.
They're written by our ensemble, Garlan Garner, Michael Edgar Myers or Vikki J. Myers -- solo, or collectively.