Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The running journey with my oldest continues. I'm so proud of him. He is very committed to finishing the entire course of this program even though it has gotten harder for him. We're over half-way through the nine weeks, which means we're walking less and running more. Today we hit the first extended run. We were to run for 20 minutes non-stop. In an effort to make it as good an experience as possible, I orchestrated running before it got hot, with just me and him on a nice cushy track. One lap into the run, he reminded me we forgot to stretch and informed me that he really needed to use the bathroom. So much for my careful planning...

Fortunately, there was an open (if dirty) bathroom on the premises. After he got back, we stretched and set out for the 20 minute run...this time for real. He amazed me at how fast he was as I watched his back and ate his dust most of the run. When we finished this first long run together, he kept saying, "Mom, I'm perishable." Of course, he meant he isn't superman and he was feeling the effects of pushing himself physically, but my mind kept mulling through the passage in I Corinthians 15 where Paul uses the same word in describing our earthly bodies.

"50Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.54But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, 'DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.'"

My body is perishable. I have limits. I fight the earthly desire to do the easy, convenient, pleasant, comfortable, etc thing. Daily, I must CHOOSE the eternal over the temporary. I must CHOOSE to run the race, to push the perishable in honor of the One who gave me the joy of being able to put on the imperishable and immortal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Run the Race

Summertime, and the livin' is easy. Actually, summertime tends to be a little more chaotic around our house in some ways. With summer comes a laid back attitude and more spur of the moment fun activities with the boys (who are out of school for a couple of months). Laid back also means routine pretty well flies out the window. As the years march by and my boys age much more rapidly than I expected, I've learned to relish times of chaos, lack of routine and spur of the moment trips to the park. My oldest decided to take advantage of the summer months by trying to reach a goal. I'm proud of him.

Michael and I started a running program a little over a year ago. In the months since we started, we've both gotten stronger and have had a fun time (especially lately) challenging each other. My oldest has watched us banter back and forth over who has run the most miles in a given week. He's also heard us compare notes as to how the day went and whether it was a "good" or "bad" running day. About five weeks ago, he told me he really wanted to work up to running three miles by the end of the summer. I was thrilled to hear it. I was even more thrilled when he said he wanted to run with me, not his dad. He's always been a daddy's boy, so the opportunity to spend time reaching a goal just the two of us was an exciting prospect. He does tend to bite off more than he can chew and tends to taper off quickly when the going gets hard, but I figured we'd give it a go. We are now in the middle of week four and I'm very proud of his commitment and drive. Though running has been fun, the best part of this joint effort is one I couldn't have predicted. When you get a boy out running and moving, they talk more. My oldest is far from introverted. He's my social butterfly, but even the most talkative of boys like to answer questions about school and their thoughts and feelings with monosyllables like "fine, good, yep, okay, ick," etc. When we're out walking and running, the rules change. I'm connecting with my son in huge ways in the short twenty to twenty-five minutes we're out together. Plus, I think tackling this goal together has forged a greater bond even when we aren't out running.

This week I've been thinking about how often the Bible parallels our spiritual lives to running a race. The comparison is fairly easy to spot. The more we excercise our spiritual muscles, the stronger we become. It's not always easy to do and at times we may hit walls when we feel we're struggling and getting nowhere. Having a goal and the extra push of reaching that goal pushes us toward greater discipline and helps us reach depths and levels we could only dream of at one point. Running with my son is giving me new perspectives about running a spiritual race. It's more fun to run with someone else, even in those times when you're held back because your partner can't run as fast or as long. It's a great discipline for me to have to think about someone else and encourage them as I run, and I run better when I have the accountability of someone else watching me and expecting me to reach the same goals they are. I have also discovered there's greater joy and benefits in the relationships you forge as you work with someone you love, striving for the same end goal.

Summer has definitely been more laid back for me and the boys (sorry, sweetie), but I think with the change in pace and routine come greater opportunities for introspection and observation. Maybe I won't let the boys start school until September...