“Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.”
A couple of years ago my wife ran the Chicago Marathon. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever watched in my life and not just the race itself. For MONTHS Cherie trained for this one day. She would get up early in the morning to run anywhere from 3 – 20 miles depending on the training schedule, but she couldn’t have done it without her good friend Connie. I was so impressed with how hard she trained and the mental focus she had to keep going.
When race day arrived Cherie and my brother Brad took off when the gun sounded. In my anal retentive fashion I had figured out 3 specific spots that I should be able to see them along the route and had used their pace time as the gauge for when to be at each one.
Tragically both my strategy and the alert system the race used to tell the pace of the runners failed miserably. I only saw my brother once and I didn’t even see Cherie! I was so upset. But as I watched the runners go by dying in the heat, I noticed a man running with a 9-10 foot model of the Eifel Tower on his BACK. Yes a grown man, running in near 90-degree heat, with a miniature monument on his back.
Why? Who knows…he’s an idiot.
I mean it’s hard enough to run a marathon in perfect conditions with all the right running gear, but to add the weight of a Tower to the challenge is absolutely insane. I’m pretty sure this is not one of the training techniques Nike recommends to its runners. A marathon is hard enough on its own; it doesn’t need our help to make it more difficult.
I believe we do the same thing to life.
We tend to forget that plain old vanilla flavored life is difficult all by itself. It doesn’t need our help to make it more complicated. Yet, somehow we decide to strap on brick after brick of stress, worry, anxiety, laziness, and frustration to to our backs. With all this extra baggage it’s no wonder love and faithfulness are a fading! Who wants to add one more thing to their life?
But Solomon tells us something different. In Proverbs 3:3 we read we should bind love and faithfulness around our neck and writing them on our hearts to keep track of them. I don’t know about you, but when I first read that it sounded heavy. The words “bind”, “never”, and “write” seemed to jump out at me as a convicting finger being pointed at me by God. But the more I thought about it, I realized this Scripture is very freeing.
Solomon is saying that love and faithfulness should be a part of our normal training routine. They are so important to our life that we should find a way to attach them to our very soul. Not so we feel guilty or weighed down because of them, but so that we can be free.
Regardless of what the world says, love and faithfulness are not the burdens in our life. In fact if we stop carrying these on our backs and start tattooing them on our souls, we can run faster, we can adjust quicker; we live stronger not having to account for balancing love and faithfulness in our lives because they are always with us.
When this happens, love and faithfulness become part of our normal operating system and the other things that weigh us down don’t make sense to hang onto. We begin to rid ourselves of the self-inflicted bricks in our lives and live differently.
We stand tall living with love and faithfulness as our support and not our Eifel Towers weighing us down.
So make an appointment to the local tattoo shop and stop carrying Love and Faithfulness on your back and get them tattooed on your heart.
It will leave your hands free for so much more that God has in store for you on this race called Life.