Monday, October 13, 2014

God Weaves in Pure Joy

The past two days of running have brought one thing--pure joy.  The past two days have not been fast.  But the mornings have been an awerome temperature for running (better Sunday than today).  Neither morning had any pressure attached to it.  And I just went through what I mostly think of as "gliding motion" miles.  The plan I work under calls them GM miles--standing for general maintenance.  But I have come to call them gliding motion.  Everything just feels easy at an 8:22-8:35 pace.  Days like these are the answer to #WhatMakesYouSoar--the question posed by Back on My Feet Baltimore as it prepares for the Sixth Annual Bash in November to celebrate the many miles the many residential and non-residential members have run and to continue to seek new heights for all its members.

The two runs have put me up to 1740 miles.  In some ways this is "exactly what I have been working for."  But in other ways it continues to amaze me.  I am pretty sure I will hit 2000 even before the marathon in Philadelphia.  On my virtual pilgrimage, I'm taking a route up toward Las Vegas rather than directly from Tucumcari to Truth or Consequences.  I'm 45 miles outside of Tucumcari along NM 104 in pretty much the middle of no where.  If this were an actual pilgrimage rather than a virtual one I am pretty sure this would be one of the toughest parts with a need to carry lots of water with me each day.

Along the way for my virtual pilgrimage, it has been wonderful to see what others see in running.  On Sunday, I caught up with my friend Joselyn. I had not run with her in two months.  She told me that she had received her bib number for the Marine Corps Marathon--10023.  That was meaningful to her because she remembered what I had done with my first marathon bib number--1313.  I had chosen to focus on the Bible verse 1 Cor 13:13 for inspiration.  She focused on Psalm 23 ("The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want") and Psalm 100 ("...shout joyfully to the Lord, all you lands...").  Given the tough time she has had preparing for this marathon, she took this as a good sign.  I had not realized that any of my friends still thought back to that type of inspiration I had (and sometimes continue to draw).

In fact, I have been thinking about my goal of 3:09:59 and with 3:09 as the focus, I would choose 1 Samuel 3:9 in which Eli tells Samuel, "go to sleep and if you are called reply, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.'"

Why that one?  Well, it has to do with the rest of the title for this blog entry.  I didn't just call it "pure joy" which I got from my last two runs (and which will be much different from the very challenging run I face in the morning).  I called it God weaves in pure joy.  What did God weave in the midst of my joy yesterday and today?

Well, when I arrived at church and looked at what we would be singing yesterday during the 5:30 mass the responsorial psalm song was an arrangement of "The Lord is My Shepherd."  How interesting that God should have woven two references to that song in my life so close to each other.  Then, Fr Ray in his homily talked about the Gospel reading (Matthew 22:1-14) in which the people who were invited to the king's feast completely underestimated what they were invited to--we should avoid that happening in our lives with respect to what God invites us to.  He also pointed out that the readings talked about God being able to fill our true and deepest hungers and thirsts.

I have thought about what that means.  The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.  I should be happy with what I have.  Material goods.  My running.  My relationships.  I should figure out what is really most important.  And focus on it.  And when God chooses to offer me something (in other words, when God speaks to me), I should be listening.  For it is through listening that I will be led on the way to fulfill my deepest hungers and thirsts.

And experience more ways of feeling pure joy.

Life all comes around.  

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