My work day began at 5:30 a.m. in the newsroom. Approaching midnight, I’m still going, now in the camp dining hall preparing for what will be a dinner tomorrow for about 350 guests eating from two menus in two locations — 50 of them being retreat guests who also are eating breakfast and lunch here.
These are the weekends I live for. It’s an honor to serve. Yet I’m exhausted, as you surely have been, too, in similar situations.
As I roasted 80 pounds of chicken thighs, steamed 40 pounds of beans and deconstructed 36 heads cauliflower while running the occasional line of trays through the dishwasher, the soundtrack changed continually through the night. Chatter with my family for a while, then, “Pardon The Interruption” via the ESPN podcast on my phone (I’m not allowed to watch or listen to “the screaming men” with my family around), followed by a little 33 Miles until the battery died.
Now, the silence is deafening. Fatigue has set in. The to-do list is long. The clock is moving slower. Breakfast is in eight hours.
And this verse, set to music, came to mind:
They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
I first learned it as a song, and that’s what’s now playing on a loop in my head. You probably know it as Isaiah 40:31.
What a promise.
And something I just realized: Fittingly, I learned that song at camp. (Can’t find that arrangement anywhere on YouTube, though. Yikes, when did it become a hip-hop song?)