Heavy Burdens

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed. --Mark 1:35 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWay back in the day, I would often incorporate various tools and tactics into my training in order to become stronger, better. One of my favorites was the use of big, heavy-linked chains. Yes, chains. Boy how times have changed. Seen rarely, and often only in shipyards, these chains were massive. Popeye would be so proud. Well, depending on the exercise, you attach them to the ends of the bar (which already have free weights on them) and perform the exercise.

I got to thinking about those old chains recently. See, chains provide a unique value to training. As you raise the bar higher and higher, the bar actually gets heavier. Why? As you lift the bar up, more links of the chain leave the ground. As you lower the weight toward the floor, one-by-one, the links begin piling up and the load you're carrying gets lighter. Simply put, the load is lightest the closer you get to the floor.

What are you lifting? What burden are you carrying? In many ways, our obligations and daily demands -- linked together -- create a pretty heavy load. Family, work, bills, deadlines, grades, health, illness, link, link...link. Even if you love the calling and the work, the occasional rest is necessary.

Friends, why do we stress having quiet times? Because burdens get lighter the closer we get to the floor. If the day were a heavy set of deadlifts, then the quiet, prayerful rest periods do a soul good. Matter of fact, back in the weight room, it's proven that short periods of rest help the lifter sustain the workload with greater success. Beat that with a stick. I just knew those old chains would come in handy someday.

--Jimmy Peña

P.S. For the old-school among us, sing with me some Gaither Music...

"Shackled by a heavy burden. 'Neath a load of guilt and shame. Then the hand of Jesus touched me. And now, I am no longer the same.

He touched me. Oh, He touched me. And oh the joy that floods my soul. Something happened, and now I know, He touched me and made me whole."