Monday, June 13, 2011

Bib numbers and Bible verses

Everything in life is linked to a lesson from God--even the bib numbers I get in the races I run. The main example I have of that is 1313 from last year's Baltimore marathon. For races that I have run since then, I have not necessarily gone to the Bible to look for some inspiration. However, today I received my race number for the Baltimore 10 Miler this Saturday--1486. This one was actually a bit of a challenge to interpret as a Bible verse. There are a number of books that don't have 14 chapters. There are very few that have 148 chapters--just Psalms. I could actually have taken Psalms 148 and 6--happy and a powerful lamentation. I could have taken Psalm 148 and then Chapter 6 from the Gospel of St. Luke--that includes the Beatitudes and some other stuff that I could relate to. However, I ended up with an interesting interpretation:

1 Tim 4: 8 and 6

OK. So the two verses are backwards, but I don't see that as a big problem. What do these two verses say in the New American Bible, Revised Edition (leave it to those witty American Bishops to think of something like Love your NABRE...):

8: for, while physical training is of limited value, devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present and for the future.

6: If you will give these instructions to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching you have followed

So, what lessons do I take from these. Verse 8 seems particularly appropriate to take with me in preparation for a race--I actually think that physical training helps me to focus my spiritual training and devotion, but I'll be the first to admit that it doesn't matter how fast I run if I don't use my running as a gift from God to share with others. I've talked about that before, but it is a pretty cool thing to find as related to my bib number.

What do I take from verse 6? Well, I don't necessarily plan to evangelize my fellow runners (although I do share my view on running, sharing, and service with anyone who will read my blog) but it is a reminder that I have to read the words, have faith, and then follow the teaching. Actions speak way louder than words.

So, to have two key messages--focus on devotion and let my actions speak for themselves--provide me with a great guide to take into my final training for a race in which I will celebrate several running friendships and running with Back on My Feet.

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