Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Meeting God on a Run
When I was only in 4th or 5th grade we went on our yearly vacation to Sarasota, FL. One morning I was happily playing in the sand with my brother Christopher when my happiness was shattered by my shirtless father jogging over to us and telling us to go get our shoes: we were going for a run. So we went, grumbling, and put our shoes on and proceeded to huff, puff, and whine for two miles on the sand.
Yesterday, for the billionth time, I met my dad at the local gym and then ran and lifted until I was gasping. I had a blast.
This friend of mine named Kenny keeps telling me that our job as Christ-followers is to tell people about God's personality- to talk about Him in a way that conveys to people that we know Him (as best one can know God). This is fascinating to me, to read the pray, engage others, and read in way that is a pursuit of understanding God better so that we can better complete our meaning in life.
This "knowing of" of God is not a checklist anymore than me being friends with someone. Being with someone means just that: being WITH them. It may include time alone with that person, going to a movie, out to eat, going to each other's homes, watching shows together, giving each other books or whatever else you may do. But you aren't taking perpetual gauges on how many movies you have seen with them or how many hours you have talked with them- that would seem like you are "cheapening" the relationship to checks on a list.
So when we are not spending time with God in conversation or engaging in a faith community or reading Scripture we shouldn't feel guilty about THOSE things... instead what we should do is evaluate why our relationship, knowledge, and love of God is not driving, inspiring, and making us WANT to do those things.
The reason I went on that first run was out of fear/respect of my father: I didn't want to and it was uncomfortable as I had anticipated. But after years of seeing positive results both in my physical body, mental happiness, and in my relationships with workout partners I have realized how much joy has been brought to my life by that initial discomfort.
God is like that. We may not enjoy the run at first, we will huff, puff, and whine... and years later look back with a grin.