A couple of years ago New Balance rolled out a pretty incredible ad campaign called Love/Hate. I’ve always had an eye for advertising and this one really stood out. The idea was simple, profound and perfectly executed. See for yourself:
You don’t have to have enjoyed season one of Mad Men ( like I just did (great stuff, by the way)) to know that this piece has so much good going for it. If you’ve ever woken up in the morning (or avoided waking up in the morning!) with that beginning-of-the-day-jog staring you in the face, you get it. But as your legs begin to wake alongside the same rhythm as the day itself…night giving to light, school buses stopping, going…your hatred towards your running shoes gives over to the love of feeling your body in motion. Legs thumping. Lungs pumping. Death gives over to life.
Last year, I read thru the entire Bible. 66 books in 365 days. What I loved the most about it was what I hated most about it. The regularity of it all. The three chapters that hit you in the face every day. Three more tomorrow. Three more the next. Falling behind meant loads of work. Staying on top meant constant devotion. I found it incredibly hard to really digest or invest in any of it. I was so focused on just staying on top of it that I was never able to really dig deep roots.
At the beginning of this year, I decided to embark on a new project. My friend, Taido, was all-in on memorizing the entire book of Philippians by Easter. 4 chapters. 16 weeks. The idea of being firmly planted in one book of the Bible for that stretch of time was too good to pass up. I wanted to dwell. Abide. Remain. Root myself.
Every week I look up and 7 more verses stare me in the face. The task is daunting. Falling behind last year meant one long stretch of reading. Falling behind here means cramming like it’s Macroeconomics all over again. These words have to be a part of your week. You have to live them. Breathe them. Place them into your head and your heart. Otherwise they just become words. Lots and lots and lots of words.
7 more verses. Week 8 – Philippians 2:12-18 is haunting me. It’s Wednesday. I’m still celebrating the victory of the week before. I have yet to engage in the one at hand. It’s time to get the engine going again. It’s as if my Asics running shoes and this little blue Philippians card have teamed up to steal me this year. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually.
I hate getting started. Writing. Reading. Running. Memorizing. The knees wobbly and unsure. The brain overwhelmed by verses strewn across the page.
But I love digging in. Air and sun and ground establishing me in a new day. Scripture planting a spirit of joy and hope in me every week.
I know this about me. Yet the fight is still hard. Every morning. Every week. Every time.
But I also know the fight is part of it. In fact, the fight may be it. The fight gives everything else its worth. It’s in the struggle that I find what I’m looking for.