Monday, January 19, 2009

Purpose-driven running

I spent some quality time in Falls Church, VA with Mary and her housemates, who are all great.

Let's take Catherine, for example. I've only spent time with her on a few (too few, I think) occasions. She gave me an article on marathon running. While that's nothing special (I have seen a few of those in recent months), this was "The Spirituality of Marathon Running" by Father Robert Panke. Well, that's a new twist. He doesn't just speak about the connections between training for a marathon and one's spiritual development. He's done a marathon before and understands the entire process. His comparison about the journey experienced during training and through faith was moving. I'm grateful that she gave me this reading; the timing was perfect.

I went out today to do my easy recovery run (you do a shorter run the day after your long one), and mp3 player died. I had no music; only my thoughts. This worked out very well, for I was able to meditate on the article from Catherine. It truly is amazing how you can feel when you know that God is always with you. To help you, to watch you, to guide to, and just to always be with you. Once that is realized, the difference is amazing. You're never alone, even if it feels like that.

Last year, when I was on the Spiritual Exercises, we were instructed to select a passage from the Bible that appealed to us and put ourselves into it. Since this was right after the Epiphany, I imagined that I was running and following the Star in order to reach the manger as quickly as possible. It was very exciting, and when I went on runs during the Exercises, that was what I imagined. I brought back that image back today, and it was such a great thought to keep with me during my run. It kept me going up the long hill during mile 2 and throughout the entire process.

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have run the good race, I have fought the good fight and now the Lord truly rules my heart." - St. Paul

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