Sunday, February 9, 2014

Running For Answers

Here is my confession: I am terrible at prayer. Honestly, I try all of the time, but I am a complete failure at it. I usually make it through my first thanks or request and the my brain drifts off into who knows where. I find myself listing all of the things that need to be done the next day or recapping all of the things that have been done. Poor God has had to listen to way too many next day schedules from me. My heart is in the right place, but my brain isn't disciplined enough to follow.

Earlier in the year, I found a solution in the form of two prayers that worked for me. I'm going to share them with you: Lord, Thanks!  And, Lord, Help.  I figure he knows the rest.  

The only problem with my solution is that it doesn't allow me the time to really communicate with God/myself to contemplate what I'm facing in life. Enter running. 

I am not suggesting that running is spiritual. Or yes, maybe that is exactly what I am suggesting. Running, for me, allows for what I imagine deep prayer and meditation allows to those who have the enviable ability of shutting off their thoughts at will. Running quiets all of the noises in my head and allows for pure and clear consciousness to flow in. Long runs slowly strip away the layers of unnecessary and leave me at the end feeling like nothing is left but the truth. 

I mentioned a few days ago that I've been in the throes of chaos and turmoil recently. The stress has been overwhelming and consuming and I was in desperate need of a run. This morning I slipped out of bed before anyone could miss me and I took off for some two legged meditation.  I had no distance and no pace in mind. I just wanted to run until I felt better. Shortly after starting I came across this fence and I knew I was on the right path:

On and on I ran. The run was physically the easiest I've had in a long time. Emotionally, though, I went through the ringer. Several times along the way, I found myself sobbing openly. (if you ever witness a runner crying uncontrollably, don't worry, it's how we work things out sometimes). I couldn't stop myself but I also didn't want to. It felt good. I indulged myself with the time I needed to process what I've been going through. And process I sure did. 

You may be wondering if I found what I was in search of. The beauty of running for clarity is that you often find the answers you didn't even know you were looking for.  I found that I've been wasting a lot of energy worrying about the wrong things. It became clear to me that there are things in my life that deserve and need my full attention and that I should trust that the rest will work itself out. What's the phrase? Let go and Let God. 

Lord, Thanks!!

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