A Tired Man, revived by Jesus

I was surfing around and came across this poem by the Hungarian poet Attila Jozef. He wrote "A Tired Man" in 1923:

A Tired Man
Attila Jozef

Solemn peasants in the fields
straggle homeward without a word.
Side by side we lie, the river and I,
fresh grasses slumber under my heart.

A deep calm is rolling in the river.
My heavy cares are now as light as dew.
I'm not man, or child, "Hungarian" or "brother" -
lying here is just a tired man, like you.

Evening ladles out the quiet,
I'm a warm slice from its loaf of bread.
In the peaceful sky the stars come out
to sit on the river and shine on my head.

Statue of the "Tired Man" referring to the poem of Hungarian poet
Attila József. The statue is the work of
József Somogyi, in Makó, Hungary

Does that capture the feeling of the moment for Christians everywhere, or what? We are so weary after a long toil, yearning to lie down beside still waters, letting the starlight wash through our hair and for rest, blessed rest, to seep into our bones.

But though Jozef's weary peasant lay down, we may not. We are still running the race! Yet so many are stumbling and sinking under the strain. We straggle like the tired man in the statue, sinking lower and head bowed, inches away from succumbing to the lure of ceasing from our labors, aching for it all to just ... stop

Do not succumb! Stay upright Brethren. Stay in the race. Paul urges us to always "be rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer" (Romans 12:12). he says,

"For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory;" (2 Corinthians 4:17).

I know the cares feel heavy, and they are, but they are only for a moment. We are running a race, and sadly, so many are hitting the wall.

Hit the wall: "In endurance sports such as cycling and running, hitting the wall or the bonk describes a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles, which manifests itself by sudden fatigue and loss of energy."

If you see a brother or sister hitting the wall, put your arm around them and help them along!

A high school runner competing in the 3200-metre race
is receiving national attention, not for winning
or a feat of athleticism, but for an extraordinary
act of kindness after she helped a struggling competitor
finish the race.

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it." (1 Corinthians 9:24).

In Barnes Notes, the verse is explained, "Know ye not ... - In the remainder of this chapter, Paul illustrates the general sentiment on which he had been dwelling - the duty of practicing self-denial for the salvation of others - by a reference to the well known games which were celebrated near Corinth. Throughout the chapter, his object had been to show that in declining to receive a support for preaching, he had done it, not because he was conscious that he had no claim to it, but because by doing it he could better advance the salvation of people, the furtherance of the gospel, and in his special case 1 Corinthians 9:16-17 could obtain better evidence, and furnish to others better evidence that he was actuated by a sincere desire to honor God in the gospel. He had denied himself. He had voluntarily submitted to great privations. He had had a great object in view in doing it. And he now says, that in the well known athletic games at Corinth, the same thing was done by the "racers" 1 Corinthians 9:24, and by "wrestlers, or boxers"; 1 Corinthians 9:25."

Barnes continues, "If they had done it, for objects so comparatively unimportant as the attainment of an "earthly" garland, assuredly it was proper for him to do it to obtain a crown which should never fade away. This is one of the most beautiful, appropriate, vigorous, and bold illustrations that can anywhere be found; and is a striking instance of the force with which the most vigorous and self-denying efforts of Christians can be vindicated, and can be urged by a reference to the conduct of people in the affairs of this life."

Just like that runner above, denying herself and her own opportunity to win, to help a struggling friend. 

And for every tired man out there, the best, BEST reviving refreshment is JESUS. Take a listen and see if you don't feel better!


  1. Fantastic. I love Ravi; a very good teacher.

    1. thanks anonymous. I agree. Ravi is a poet in his own right, too. "Just think...of waking up in heaven, and finding it home..."


Post a Comment