I’m thinking back to last Friday, with the weekend being the blur that it was I’m finally finding the time to organize the thoughts from all the monumental, fun, and inspiring events that have transpired over recent days.
Most important I definitely wanted to jot down some thoughts from last Friday afternoon because I found their existence and my being to be crucial into understanding the spiritual journey that everyone faces.
I’ve typed many times on the outlet that running offers me. It is my escape, my drug, my high, and my moment of isolation. Most importantly it’s my ability to worship, it’s my ability for a few minutes to feel closer to God compared to any other time of the day. That’s sincerely how my soul is structured. Most days I run in the form of training, I push myself to the limits, and I strive to be stronger in order to please my King. However, there are other days such as Friday where running takes on an entirely new meaning. It isn’t so much about pushing limits as it is a form of giving thanks.
Last Friday, to end the work week on a solid note, Darco and I had a few things come to a head in the positive light of life:
- Payday (it’s alright to give thanks for that)
- Laundry (it’s definitely alright to give thanks for that)
- I was notified that I would be back in the classroom teaching starting this week (that means employment)
- The heat finally broke, it was gray, rainy, and running near 64°F outside (hello season change!)
It’s taken me several years to figure it out, but when life is positive, an prayers are answered it’s an obligation and an honor as a Christian to give thanks. Unlike those of the past (Hebrews in the Old Testament) it doesn’t require us to sacrifice bulls, goats, doves, grain, etc…as some sort of offering or sacrifice. Thankfully Jesus was just that, eliminating that old school requirement. However, God still enables us to do incredible things on a daily basis, and it’s our duty to ensure that everything we do, we do to the best of our ability. It’s also crucial that we understand where blessings come from, and where praise goes. Make no mistake God is a pretty jealous dude, He wants to hear our praise, and He wants to know that we’re gracious when life is abundant in fruits.
After the previous two weeks, Friday really nailed down some serious grace in my life. Not even thinking, just wanting, I took off for a long run that afternoon. It was perfect weather, I had just had a rest day, and I just wanted to get out and about. I found an old river road located along the same path that I had my senior pictures taken, and where I also proposed to Darco. From downtown of that small town to where I proposed to my wife is exactly 1.5 miles, enough to have a nice, steady three mile run for the day.
I took off, it was just isolation. A snake here, a spider there, the Missouri River running along the road, and aside from a few cars, there was nothing. Reception was poor so my music wasn’t playing, and it was silent with each step that I took. There was no time limit, there wasn’t a goal pace, there wasn’t anything set. It was just time to move.
When I was younger I would take off running from my parents house, this was usually my failed attempt to run away from the problems in my life. It only occurred to me later in life that instead of running from the problems, it was my systematic approach to running to my solutions. My only solution; God. The world didn’t understand, the world still doesn’t understand, but God understood the entire time. He knows why I sweat, why I breathe heavy, and why I ache in the morning. I do all of it because with each literal step, that’s as close as I get to God. I don’t draw closer to Him in church, at Bible study, or even with the “right” music…those are all enriching opportunities to grow as a Christian, but that doesn’t do it for my one-on-one relationship with my Creator. Those moments are carved out of gravel, chat, rubber, asphalt, and even dirt. He’s found along the trees, near the river, and even in the shade on the hottest days. He carries my weight, and allows me to be lighter around every corner. He pushes me to reach a longer stride, push a little further, and pray a little harder.
As I came to the end of the path on Friday, entering back into the small downtown through a tiny bridge, I noted a drastic improvement on some timing within the distance (not planned) and entered the car to head to the weight room. It wasn’t until the next night that I really reflected on the fact that at this point in life there is only two things I can do. I write, that’s why this lovely site exists, and I run. I’m not the fastest or the strongest. However, if anyone were to ever ask who runs the hardest I know that I’d simply reply with a concrete heart:
I run the hardest because I run for the King. I run for the King because it’s the only thing I know that I can do that could be worthy of an offering.