Monday Melody:Run Til I Finish

Nothing like a few days in St. Kitts to feel replenished and fit to face new challenges!  Plus, this Easter presented yet another opportunity to “consider the empty tomb,” as one of my pastors once preached.  He is risen!

Song/Album: “Run Til I Finish” by  Smokie Norful on the album Life Changing.

Why it made the cut:   This is my “yes, you can” song!  For those days when I feel like calling it quits, Smokie is here to remind me that I’m called to persevere in this race called life.  The apostle Paul’s admonitions in Hebrews 1:12 and 1 Corinthians 9:24 come to mind:  we are to run the race to the end.  No wimping out!

Stripped down to just the piano and Smokie’s compelling vocals, the song’s poignancy rings through to a generation that has gorged itself on instant gratification:  nothing comes to us easily, least of all spiritual growth. 

We have to agree with God that we will go hard after the life He’s called us to, regardless of the stumbling blocks and distractions.  We’re not running this race aimlessly; our goal is to hear those precious seven words at the end of our journey:  “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

Artist: Preacher’s kid, pastor, singer, songwriter, and pianist Smokie Norful catapulted to fame in 2002 with the release of his album I Need You Now and its blistering title track.  His soulful blend of 1970s soul, contemporary R & B, and funk appeals to gospel and praise and worship lovers from every demographic.

Smokie, an internationally renowned music composer and recording artist, grew up with a keen interest in music that his parents nurtured.  He reportedly learned to play one-finger piano melodies by the age of five. 

He majored in history in college and taught history for seven years before pursuing a master of divinity degree and responding to God’s call to the ministry.

Pastor Norful received the 2005 Grammy award for Contemporary Soul Gospel Album for Nothing Without You, as well as numerous Stellar, Dove, and Gospel Music Excellence awards.

In 2005, Smokie and his wife Carla launched Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, Illinois, where he serves as senior pastor.  He has continued his music career with the release of Life Changing in 2006 and Smokie Norful Live in 2009.  His 10-year commemorative album, Once In A Lifetime, dropped on April 3, 2012.

Favorite lyrics:

Oh I’ll run this race
Nestled safely in amazing grace
I’ve made up my mind
And I don’t have much time
But I’ll run til I finish

Sweet spot:   From 2:25 until the end.  Just beautiful! 

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