Thursday, January 10, 2013


{Image published on web here}
Yesterday, I hit a milestone.
I went on my first real run.

Even though I ran a marathon last fall, it was the very first time I honesty ran for the sake of running.

"How can that be?"  You may ask.

Well, my outing was not part of a workout routine.  It was not a part of a pre-race regimen.  I did not run to make up for eating a large meal.  I was not running to burn off "X" amount of calories.  I was not exercising for the sake of my health.  And I was not trying to stay in shape.

It went like this: The sun was shining.  The temperature was well above freezing.  And I just felt like being outside and moving my body.

I did not keep track of my miles.  I did not even wear a watch.  I just went out and ran until I was satisfied.

The experience was a gift.  I felt so blessed to have two working legs, a young body, and a healthy mind.  I felt like I was glorifying God in that simple and seemingly unimportant activity.

The experience caused me to reflect on all my habits.  I realized that anything I do, no matter how minuscule the task, I can do for the honor and glory of God.

I wasn’t trying to work against my body.  I wasn’t abusing it to the point of near exhaustion as I have done in the past.  I was simply using the muscles God gave me.  I was using His gifts in a way that was gracious, respectful, and within my physical limits.

Our working muscles, our sound minds, and our intuitive brains are a tremendous gift from God. If we treat our body as a gift, we are more likely to cherish our body and treat it with respect and love. And in doing so, it follows that we will make better choices and form better habits.

It was an experience of true freedom.

It wasn’t freedom in the cultural sense that I did whatever I felt like doing.  That is not true freedom.  True freedom encompasses your intellect and your will, not your emotions and your instincts.  Freedom is knowing the difference between right and wrong and being completely willing and fully capable to choose what is right.

My running experience was just an example to me of what my life could really be like.

I saw the opportunity to do something good and I was able to choose to do it in the best way I could.

Don’t get me wrong.  It was, by no means, a piece of cake to get out there and run.  But my past experience and continual habit of running have taught me that the reward was well worth the effort.

I know I won’t always feel good when I am doing something right.  Most of the time, it’s the “fake it ‘till you make it” drill.  But in the moment when I know something is good and I am free to choose that good, I get a glimpse of eternal wisdom.

I am glad I did not miss this reflection.  Had I been cluttered with things like my iPod, or GPS watch, I might have been completely oblivious to this subtle insight.

Ernest Hemingway once said, “The man who has begun to live more seriously within begins to live more simply without.”

I think you begin to live more simply when your choices turn into habits.

Maybe it’s not your thing to run.  Maybe you like to walk, ride a bike, or dance.  Or maybe you like to move your body in other ways, like scrubbing the kitchen floor, gardening, or chasing after little kids.

But anything we practice, over time, it will become a habit.  And we will begin to live more simply.  And in simplicity, we will find freedom.

And just maybe we will get to experience a taste of Heaven.


  1. Hi, I just found your blog through TinyBuddah - you're one of the better writers to post on that site. Keep it up! You help people.

    1. oops TinyBuddha

    2. Hello! I am so glad you found my blog! Thank you for your kind words. Your encouragement and support helps me more than you will ever know.

  2. I recently became addicted to yoga. Spiritual and active!

    1. Nice! I could never get into yoga. I do like spiritual meditation tho.