“Second Wind; A Fresh Run at Life” by Charles Swindoll.
It’s a slim volume with a massive message that I still remember today, over 35 years later. Of course, I do, since I read it over and over because it fed my spirit. The best attributes of its content is Charles Swindoll’s way with words and his handling of truth. He knows how to tickle laughter out of a line while holding hearts at attention with his story-telling style and his teacherly gift.
I had the fruitful experience of having heard Chuck preach every winter for five years when my hubby and I were snowbirds from Michigan to Texas. And for the first three Sundays each season, I wept at the sheer privilege of sitting under his tutelage. He’s such an orator of the finest ilk. I had to pinch myself at the thought that I could be taught by the person who had dramatically impacted my early years of development as a believer. His passion for Christ and his devotion to God’s Word continues to inspire me.
Chuck’s musical laughter is hospitable in that it invites us to gather around and join him, like a campfire circle. He stirs the embers of our faith by his reminders of God’s love. And Chuck’s ability to dip into his life, music, and history to help us grasp eternal truths warms the heart.
So what was the line that has survived inside of me for years from this book? It’s actually something that was said to him…
“The problem with life is that it’s so daily.” So funny. So true. So profound.
When I read that line I was battling depression and anxiety…again. I was weary from my struggles. It was exhausting work not to give in to the lies in my head and to keep participating in the daily grind. Somehow though, like a key when it is slipped into a lock, I realized as I read those words, that made me laugh and then tear up, that everyone battles something in the dailiness of existence. That gave me courage.
“The problem with life is that it’s so daily.”
We all know that in a vague way but reading this succinct statement woke me to its truth. We are warned in this life we will have trouble but we are to be of good cheer. The cheer is not us waving pom-pom’s at our problems, nor is it us shutting down and giving up, but it’s embracing that “greater is He who is within us than he who is in the world.” In eternity our winter struggles will permanently melt but until then we should not be surprised by the fact that life is tightly stitched with difficulties. There is comfort in knowing we aren’t the only one grappling, but also, we have responsibility, for when we believe in the commonality we will have to give up some of our poor-me drama (for those of us prone to our own why-me exclusiveness).
We are not the only ones who suffer.
We are not alone.
Trouble is common …
and oh boy, is it daily.