Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Joy of Running

Here is a quote from Eric Liddell, "God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure."  Now, God did not make me anywhere near as fast as he made Eric Liddell.  He did make me faster than a lot of other people (and slower than many as well) and He made me persistent. Eric Liddell was not a distance runner.  I would say that in my case, I feel God's pleasure in me when I am persistent, stick with what I was meant to do, and complete it.  Particularly in the presence of others.  

Does this apply to long distance running--I believe it does.  This applies to more than just running--as, I think, do most of the lessons I take from my running.  I believe that God is pleased when I persist at any task in life.  I believe that when I find the path that God has intended for me to follow and stick with it he is please.  I believe that God is pleased when I complete things. 

Why is it important in other people's presence?  I believe that God wants me to share.  What good are accomplishments if they are not shared?  What good is running alone?  Isn't it better to run with others--not necessarily alongside them, as I was ahead in the workout this evening--but with others.  I may represent something for others to aspire to.  (I may also represent something that others just think is crazy.)  And, when I am done and have caught my breath, I take a lesson from an old friend, turn around, and cheer on every other person in my group.  If I've lapped them, I cheer them on not just when they finish but every time they come around. And for my cheering and encouragement to be effective it has to be sincere.  

So, if I were to adapt Liddell's quote for long distance runners, I'd say "God made me somewhat fast and very persistent.  And when I start and complete a long hard run and sincerely share the joy of the experience with others in word or in deed, I feel His pleasure."

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