thinkin' and runnin'

can sometimes be a bad, nay, dangerous for me. (See “Woops” post)

What I didn’t explain in that post back in 2007 was that I was thinking about a park I used to go to when I was little and next thing I knew – I was sailing through the air, quickly headed to the ground. Boom.

But have I learned my lesson about thinking and running? Nope. I do it with reckless abandon. Probably to the detriment of any running technique I might have.

So what was I thinking about today while I ran? Here’s how my run went:

Mile 1:
I don’t think I’m going to make it.
I am so tired.
It’s probably ridiculous that I am even trying to run since I am SO tired.
And it’s not like, normal tired.
It’s real tired.
Oh, a pear tree.
I wonder if fruit trees are hard wood or soft wood.
If they are hard wood, that would probably be good because they carry a lot of weight with the fruit.
But then again, soft wood would be a little more flexible and less brittle.
Bump.
Oh no, the hill.
(Not a real hill, just a very minor incline. I should be honest about it, I think.)
This is such a huge hill.
I might not make it up the hill.
Police officer in car.
I wonder if me running like this is a crime in progress.
Nope, he kept rolling by.
He? She? Hmm – definitely a he.
Oh my knee hurts. Well, this isn’t good.
I bet it’s my stride.
I bet my fatty thighs are causing my legs to be in an unnatural formation, thus putting undue stress on my knees.
Maybe I should get some shoe inserts.
Darn this hill.
Must. Focus.

and this goes on for 2 more miles.

One of the more serious topics that I reflected on was the sermon from church this morning. David Nasser, an Iranian refuge who became a Christian at 18 yrs old and has been a Pastor for probably over a decade, came to Willow to teach.

I love when we have guests. Not because I don’t enjoy Bill Hybels – he’s great – but because they offer such interesting and unique perspectives.

Towards the end of his story about his life (which was amazing and moving – I almost cried multiple times), he touched on a few things I found particularly interesting and well-said.

You cannot be good enough.
This is so true! Grace is not about living your life “good enough” to earn salvation. Grace is a gift and is free and is immense. I cannot hear this message enough.

It is more difficult to reach people who are living a “good” life than people with obvious sin patterns.
I think this is sooo true. Here’s an illustration of the point. We all know we should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. That is what our bodies require to be functioning at a good level. People who do not have access to water, have poor water supplies or who have just run a marathon KNOW that they NEED water. They are thirsty.

But so many of us are dehydrated throughout the day without knowing we are. My doctor asks me all the time how much water I get, and for a long time, I wasn’t drinking much water. I mean, I wasn’t thirsty. Why should I drink? I just had 3 diet cokes – doesn’t that count? (No, says my doctor – it doesn’t.)

And I think that’s how it is sometimes spiritually. People in impovrished nations full of strife and discontent and war, are often MORE receptive to hearing about God’s grace than comfortable people. People in the first group are accutely aware of their hurt and don’t have anything to fill it with.

But that second group…

I am a person in a priveleged country with a priveleged life and I OFTEN choose to replace God with cheap (sorry to say, Diet Coke-ish) alternatives. Becaues I use these cheap alternatives, I don’t even realize how thirsty I am.

And that is how the father of lies works. He replaces good, fresh, clean fruits with Ding Dongs, calls it delicious food – and I eat it all up.

Sure I am full, but it is short-lived and I am even hungrier than I was before. So yeah – this sermon is totally working on my heart (and apparently my stomach).

Good stuff, Mr. Nasser. Thanks for sharing!

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