Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
I Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT)
At one time I used to run. During my lunch breaks, in the evening at the local track, even one Sunday afternoon between church services. At the 2007 AIDS Walk NY, I and another runner did the 6.2 miles running; after which I ran down the length of Hudson River Park! When I ran I felt free. Even a jog would be liberating to the soul. And don’t get me on trail running! My God, talk about a pleasure to the soul! Being out there with God and Nature was a time I savored. At times I would run and hit that “zone” where I’d get that “runner’s high” as well.
However, after we had our child I started to get soft. Oh a couple of times in the interim years I would pick it back up again and start up, but then I fell off the wagon-citing work, personal/home responsibilities, etc.
I soon paid for it. Weight that I shaved off started to return. Suits that one time I had to buy suspenders for they got so loose now are tight. I feel irritable and lethargic at times, not wanting to get out of bed; whereas not so long ago I could bound out of it.
However, I’m currently reading a book titled Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. This book tells of the Tarahumara, an isolated tribe in North Mexico’s Copper Canyon; a tribe that can run with speed and endurance that boggles the mind. McDougall also shows research that has been done to show that running is in our genetic makeup from our prehistoric days; and how (sadly) we’ve pretty much stopped. When McDougall wrote about what the lack of running can do to a person, he was right on my street. But as I read the book, I have a renewed interest in hitting the road again!
Reading Born to Run pricked my curiosity about how we as a species have been blessed with the power to move. And with that power to move, we become close to ourselves and the Creator. Is it any surprise that Paul used the running analogy in the Christian journey? Yes, I know Paul was referring to the foot races he saw the Olympians do in his time. But why did Paul choose running? Why not the discus, some other field sport?
Maybe because running is about endurance and getting in tune with your self. When I ran, my body worked in its own unique rhythm. When I paced myself rightly, I felt I could run for hours; my only limitation was the time I had. The Christian journey is a run of spiritual endurance where you get in tune with your inner self. It’s when we get in touch with ourselves and run the race with endurance we mature as spiritual beings that are one with the Divine. Also, our bodies become more fit, alive, and energized; and isn’t that what an encounter with the Divine should do to us spiritually?
Maybe it’s time for me to run again!