A Pastoral Word
I am taking up a new spiritual discipline, running. I’m sure many of you may be thinking how is running a spiritual discipline. Well, for starters, running pushes me out of my comfort zone. Sure I can jog but now I am training to run a 5K in August which means 3 days a week, I am forcing myself to do something I would rather not do or comfortable doing.
Also running is helping give structure to my day and is making me committed to something that is bigger than me. The alarm clock now goes off at 6:30 a.m. instead of remaining silent during the week. My alarm to wake me up used to be our 20 lb cat who when he decided I had slept enough would sit on my chest and graciously and loudly MEOW in my ear!
When the alarm goes off now, I get out bed, do some stretching, slip on my running shoes, turn on my IPOD and begin running. I have discovered that if I don’t get my run in in the morning I feel like I have missed an important commitment.
The other part of running being a spiritual discipline is keeping my word. When Mike was training for his half-iron in May, I made a promise (or bet if you will) that if he finished his race than I would run the 5K that is part of the SMA race in August and he clarified, not run/walk it but run it! (3.1 miles to be exact!). So after he finished, I began training!
I talked with Sandy Gruzesky before I started training and she said that after a while, when you find your rhythm while running, you get into a very Zen-like state. I’m not there yet but I am getting small glimpses of what Sandy was talking about while running. It’s just me out there on my run. My mind is quiet. I concentrate on my breathing. And then Zen, at least for a while, until my mind starts thinking,“You’re running. You don’t do this!” So another part of my spiritual discipline of running is putting mind over matter, removing the obstacles that I keep putting in my own path, overcoming my fears of failure, overcoming that little voice that says “Heather, you don’t run.”, and overcoming my worries.
So for the next nine weeks, if you see me running around Midway, don’t be alarmed. Your minister hasn’t lost her mind, well, at least not yet. While running, I’m testing my strength. While running, I’m testing my courage to complete the journey. While running, I’m testing my endurance. While running, I’m finding out more and more about myself. While running, I’m quieting those voices that tell me I can’t do it.
While running, I’m growing in faith.