Monday, May 14, 2012

A Bible Verse for my 43:22.3 from my 10K several weeks ago

When I ran a 43:22.3 several weeks ago, in the tradition I have now developed, I turned to the Bible to find some meaning in the numbers. Or, more accurately, I used the numbers to guide me to something interesting in the Bible--as a way to get closer to God. I could use nearly anything as inspiration for how to get closer, but I've been using my bib numbers or race times for more than 18 months now.

This one was a bit of a challenge, but I settled on Isaiah 43:22 and the next three verses. Form the New American Bible, Revised Edition, we read:

"22Yet you did not call upon me, Jacob,
for you grew weary of me, Israel.

23 You did not bring me sheep for your burnt offerings,
nor honor me with your sacrifices.
I did not exact from you the service of offerings,
nor weary you for frankincense.

24You did not buy me sweet cane,
nor did you fill me with the fat of your sacrifices;
Instead, you burdened me with your sins,
wearied me with your crimes.

25It is I, I, who wipe out,
for my own sake, your offenses;
your sins I remember no more."

This is Isaiah's prophesy--that Israel would tire of God. I may have felt drawn to finally write this down as I continued to reflect, at least in the back of my mind, on the fact that so much time was spent preparing for Easter in the Lenten season, that I have not taken the time to celebrate and to continue to celebrate the importance of the mystery of the Resurrection. Of course the crucifixion is critical to the Catholic faith. But the crucifixion would be a sad ending while the Resurrection is a joyful and glorious ending. Yes, as Fr. Sam reminded the congregation is it just the beginning.

And I should not forget or grow weary of God and simply burden him with the things I do wrong after Easter but I should remember him. For, as verse 25 in the text above reminds us, it is only through God's mercy that we are forgiven. He does not have to forgive us. It is His choice to forgive those who are truly contrite.

Of course, I strive not to need forgiveness in the first place, but I am only human. However, in my humanity, I should hunger for God's grace and presence and seek the fulfillment of time spent focusing on Him in order to receive the gifts of forgiveness.

I really do enjoy using my racing numbers as inspiration for Bible readings and then finding ways to tie it into life. It is almost always incredibly revealing.

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