Monday, August 4, 2014

Made it to Witchita

So, I've gone seven days without writing.  As I sit hear late on a Monday night, I thought I would be asleep by now.  I ran 6 miles this morning at an 8:09 pace.  That was after a Sunday that included an 18 mile run at an 8:13 pace (most of which with a great running partner and including the last four at a pretty kicking pace), then going to mass, then making two eggplant-yellow squash-jalapeno-tomato-bleu cheese-parmasen-mozzarella pizzas, then going to see Earth to Echo, and then going to see a performance of Fluid Movement (local water ballet telling to story of the Battle of 1812).  I got to sleep late last night and was tired today, although not so bad that I was unable to give a good welcome to the new 2 year MBA students.  That was after a Saturday when I got to bed at midnight after going to get my youngest a 1/4 size double bass, getting my youngest new ice skates, getting a nice lunch, and going to a LONG Orioles game.  That was after a six mile run.  Working backwards, Friday was an off day, Thursday was an 8 mile tempo run with two friends, Wednesday was an easy run, Tuesday was a progression on the treadmill.

I am now at 1277.2 miles for the year.  On my 2000 mile quest running from St. Pius X in Towson just outside Baltimore to Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Truth or Consequences, NM, I have reached Witchita KS.  One of the churches in Witchita is the Church of the Magdalen.  I have never heard of a refernece to Mary Magdalen like this, but she is the only figure I know in the Catholic church referred to as Magdalen.  I have mentioned previously that she is sometimes referred to as the patron saint of the contemplative life.  I have contemplated a lot over the past week since I wrote last.

A fourth person in the past two months confided something very personal to me.  I seem to have attracted a lot of this lately.  I don't mind.  It is part of my calling.  But someone who helps me think about running reminded me that people who help others for a living hear a lot but also have the training to draw boundaries and separate themselves.  That is critical.  Yet I don't want to shy away and I do want to share.

What people come to me for is not what they would come to a religious figure or pray to God for.  I certainly don't give myself that much credit.  But yesterday in the Catholic church the first reading was from Isaiah 55.  Hearing the verses, I knew we would sing the song about coming to the water.  Very fitting.  That is all about what people come to God for.  All of it is comfort in one form or another.  A comfort that I can never provide to others.  But a comfort to which I can contribute by acting with God in mind to help others.

The second reading was from the letter to the Romans about nothing separating us from God.  And my contemplation on that was just the faith that I continue to have.  When runs go well and when runs don't go well.  When people come to me with issues and when everything is just fine.  I find strength in my faith regardless. 

The Gospel reminded me of two things.  It was just after John the Baptist was murdered.  Jesus needed time away.  He wanted to draw boundaries.  So even the greatest prophet who was both God and man needed a little break.  I should take a lesson sometimes.  But when people found him he told his disciples to feed the people and there was abundance.

My life is blessed with abundance.  And abundance of energy.  An abundance of activities.  An abundance of ambition.  An abundance of running.  All is good.  

I love to share my abundance.  I love to share my story.  What I shared when I welcomed students today included information about marathon running (the Dean had set me up for that) and ideas about putting puzzles together.  

I get energy from contemplating and sharing.

I hope others enjoy it. 

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