I just returned from my morning run, and I just have to say: God is awesome! It is such a beautiful day here, the sunshine and blue skies have made an impression on my mood.
One of my favorite things when I’m running is to encounter other people who are out enjoying the day. I especially love to “run into” other runners. We share a kind of sick world of pain and triumph that others just don’t understand.
Today I passed several walkers, which is great, but one particular woman stands out in my mind. As I approached her, I prepared to greet her with a smile and light word. But as I drew closer, it became clear that this woman was in another conversation. She had on one of those wraparound-the-ear cell phone thingies and was just chatting away, oblivious to her surroundings. While one part of me applauded her multi-tasking (Lord knows there’s not enough time in the day to keep up with friends and get everything on earth done that needs doing) the other part of me wanted to yell, “Hey! You’re missing it! Look at that sky…smell those flowers. Feel that breeze! Don’t just walk on by!”
This brings me to our next Liferunning lessons.
Lesson #4: Be Present
In Running: While having distinct goals in your running life is important, don’t forget to enjoy the time you invest in each individual run! Part of the adventure is getting there. Be present in each moment that you are out in God’s world. Take note of your surroundings and look for beauty as you pass through. Comment to God on what you see. I call this Prayer Running. Sometimes I tell the Lord upfront that I will spend my entire run praising Him for the things I see. Make your run (or walk) a quest for beauty. Don’t be afraid to venture down a new course in this pursuit. Some of my most enjoyable runs have resulted from turning down an unknown road just to see what’s at the end. I’ve discovered beautiful sunrises, ready smiles, and gorgeous scenery by traveling down unfamiliar roads.
In Life: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. If you let discomfort keep you from trying new things you may miss out on some wonderful opportunities. Sometimes we go through life on auto pilot, unaware of the beauty that surrounds us every day. By trying new things and deliberately being aware of your surroundings, you will gain a new appreciation for life. Try keeping a Gratitude journal. Your increased awareness of God’s gifts will be the reward. You will find that daily, your eyes seek out beauty. And life will have more meaning.
Lesson #5: Pride Goeth…
In Running: Sometimes my runs are not pretty. It can be quite ugly, and I don’t know many powder puffs who want to try it. Sometimes I need to spit. My nose runs a lot, especially in cold weather, and, well…I don’t always have a tissue with me. Sometimes I even, er, have to expel a little gas.
All of these, um, bodily functions have been witnessed by my running partners over the years. Sometimes he or she joins in and we have our own symphony running down the street!
If I had been too embarrassed to bare those parts of me, I would have missed out on some of the most rewarding friendships of my life.
In Life: There are always parts of us that we don’t want others to see. Whether it’s a piece of our history, a physical flaw, or some embarrassing weakness… everybody has some not so pretty parts. It’s one of the things that make us human.
If you are willing to get past the fear of being evaluated, your relationships will be carried to a whole new level. You might be surprised to find that the very thing you’ve been afraid of will bond you even closer to your friends. Pride may keep you looking good in the eyes of others, but it may keep you from getting too close to them as well. If you want superficial relationships that stunt your personal growth, then hold in your gas until it hurts. But if you want deep meaningful friendships that will last a lifetime…go ahead…let it rip.
For the complete list of posts on Liferunning thus far, click here.