Running: Greater Cause, Higher Purpose

my fascination for running began in high school. as a freshman, i was persuaded by friends to join the cross-country team. everyday after school, we would lace up our shoes and hit the streets, running anywhere between 2 and 6 miles, depending on what our coach had planned for us on that day. i remember completing a 6 mile run back then, and feeling like i had conquered the world.

as i got older and moved on from organized school sports, i always seemed to go back to running as my main source of exercise. the distances may have varied, as did the rewards afterward, (if you're really curious about the rewards, ask me about it sometime) but the motion itself stayed the same...one step at a time.

like i said, running is a fascination, but certainly not a love. quite often, i find it a chore to run...to train. the one thing that seems to keep my legs moving is the desire to accomplish a goal that i've set for myself. last year, as i was training for my first marathon, it was very difficult to wake up before 5:00am and run. nothing about me wanted to leave the comfort of my cozy bed for the humid mornings and stray dogs that the dark streets had to offer. i got up and ran in the morning for one reason, to accomplish that goal...to cross the finish line after 26.2 miles.

so, last year on november 15th, i crossed the finish line...i got a medal placed around my neck...i ran a marathon. when asked immediately afterward if i'd ever do it again, my quick response was "absolutely not". well, apparently time makes for cloudy memories. sure, i will remember the pain my body felt, and my mental strength running on fumes as i ran the last miles, but i've witnessed something else since then...i went to africa and saw starving, diseased, dying children without electricity, heat, or running water...and i now realize that a few hours of suffering on my part is nothing compared to the constant despair that they call everyday life. if by me running a few painful miles helps make a difference, it gives each of those aches and pains a purpose far greater than any medal could show.

true, there is much to do, but i believe there is something i can do, one step at a time.

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Thoughs on What Matters More

I recently watched this video (click here) which was linked from the Amplify Facebook Fan Page (click here). Yes, while the Facebook post did ask for our thoughts on the song, what followed was not much more than some Christians debating with each other over the musical content, the use of the word “shit” in the lyrics, and some thoughts on homosexuality. Perhaps that did satisfy the question at hand, and their thoughts that stirred from the song….but it didn’t satisfy mine. I woke up in the middle of the night with thoughts swirling around in my head about this song, and what I feel the true meaning is. Here are the thoughts that I wrote down on my phone at 3am. And remember, wherever there is a “we”, the “me” is most definitely implied.

Loving thoughts and great intentions are worthless unless they lead to action. Debating is over-rated, because while details are being fought over, the point of the Gospel is being neglected. Go out and do (Matthew 28:19), there is no room for debate over that. While points are being pushed and thoughts are being revealed over the artists’ use of the word “shit”, and the music resembling that of ‘The Postal Service’, 50,000 are dying. Isn’t that the real point!? This song wasn’t written so Christians could sit around in their little circles and talk about the meaning of it all, meanwhile, the rest of the world continues on just as it is. Isn’t this song a call for us to collectively put our money where our mouths are, and go out and tell others about Jesus (when is the last time we dined with the ‘tax collector’?), not sit around with others just like us and discuss earthly things that will fail? How often do we go hours or days without asking God what we can do to glorify Him (Matthew 25: 31-46)? Do our friends, family, classmates and coworkers really know who we are, or do they have a better understanding of the person we outwardly portray on a daily basis than we do (Matthew 7: 1-5)? Are we simply fooling ourselves by thinking that our intentions are glorifying to Him (Ephesians 2: 1-10)?

So, there was my 3am slap in the face. Hope it stirs you into action as much as it does me. I welcome your thoughts, but don’t debate with me…there’s no time for that.