Shelli Latham (whose blog is quickly becoming a must-read for me) put together a great mix of tunes to help her "worship in her running shoes." I tried it out this morning (had to download a couple of the songs) and can testify that it's great for running, and for running as a spiritual practice.
Someone commented on her blog how fun it would be to have with a whole series of playlists that follow this pattern, starting with gathering/call to worship, proceeding through the liturgy of the Lord's Day, and closing with a blessing/sending.
I decided to come up with my own mix. I used Shelli's criteria:
(1) You have to be able to run to it.
(2) It has to have the capacity to point you to God, even if you have to be a little creative.
(3) No references to pimpin', guns, or anything that may sound like making out with Jesus... This is not the place to come for your Jesus is my Boyfriend fix.
Regarding (1), I'm a pokey, look-at-the-trees-while-gasping-for-breath runner, so my challenge was to pump up the energy with this mix, rather than fall back on the sad-sack aging girls with guitars stuff I usually listen to. Regarding (2 and 3), some of these actually do mention God, but Jesus is nobody's boyfriend in these.
I also changed a couple of the categories and added baptism and communion. What do you think?
Prelude: Great Day, Eddie from Ohio
Call to Worship: Get Up Offa That Thing, James Brown
Prayer of Confession: Been Caught Stealing, Jane's Addiction I liked Lori McKenna's Mars here, but it's not fast enough for running. See sad-sack thing above.
Assurance of Forgiveness: Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours, Stevie Wonder
Prayer for Illumination: Ray of Light, Madonna
The Word: I'd suggest putting several things in this slot and/or mixing and matching depending on what inspiration I need that day. Options off the top of my head: World Leader Pretend, R.E.M. Dare You To Move, Switchfoot All Star, Smash Mouth Yahweh, U2 Where You Been, Carrie Newcomer, which is actually about Jesus, but he visits the gay pride parade in a borrowed El Camino... so a bit of a midrash, no? Anything by the Psalters. Gypsy gospel punk makes ME wanna run, how about you?
Affirmation of Faith: Let It Ring, Amy Ray
Baptism: Glass of Water, Coldplay That seems too on-the-nose, but it works.
Communion: Cheeseburger in Paradise, Jimmy Buffett It's sad the extent to which I'm chuckling at this one.
Prayers of the People: Higher Ground, Red Hot Chili Peppers version See how skillfully I avoided doubling up on the Steve Wonder? But the RHCP version really is better for running.
Offering: Hammer and a Nail, Indigo Girls
Benediction, aka Cooldown: Joy to You Baby, Josh Ritter
Can't wait to try it out. Marathon training starts next week and I'll need all the help I can get. Suggest your favorite running/workout/feelgood song in the comments.