Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Blogging Version of #tbt

I have posted very few pictures for throw back Thursday.

In general, I use words rather than pictures. More accurately, I try to paint a scene with my words.

Today, I have no new words. Instead, I received a gift in the mail from a former student, running mentor, and dear friend.   Today's answer to #WhatMakesYouSoar. To put the gift in context, I draw on a post from August 1, 2010--where my blogging began.

August 1, 2010--A Spiritual View of a Marathon

The marathon this fall has a lot of meaning and a lot of meanings for me. The meanings have evolved over time: getting in shape; proving I could do something I did more than 20 years ago; a promise to myself; a promise to others; overcoming an injury; running for charity. Today as I ran 15 miles and attended a memorial service, my outlook on the marathon took a spiritual turn.

I’ve never run 15 miles continuously before. Today felt good. Despite having an opportunity to train with others, today’s run needed to be done early so I did it myself. During the run, I focused on thinking about Gerry, the fellow parent at my kids’ school who recently lost his battle with cancer—in whose memory I will be running and for whom the memorial service was today.

Later, at the memorial service, I realized just how blessed Gerry’s life was. He could find the good in just about everyone and every experience.

During the service, someone shared an incredible story. While the story-teller’s faith and Gerry’s faith were different they shared a bond through faith. And when she took her family to Israel for her son’s bar mitzvah, she asked Gerry what he would like her to bring back. Gerry asked for five smooth round stones. Remember that David had five stones when he went to face Goliath although he needed only one. The five stones were at the memorial service today.

I don’t necessarily plan to carry five physical stones 26.2 miles while I run in October, but I could have five “figurative” stones in my pocket representing love, strength, perseverance, ambition, and focus. Each could help me achieve my goal in the way that any of the stones could have helped David. But, as David needed only one, I really need only one; the others are just backup. The one I need—love. Love for my friends, colleagues, and family members who have been touched by cancer. Love for my children as I show an example of setting and achieving a goal. Love for my wife who has endured the extra time I’ve spent training this year. Love of and thankfulness to God who has given me so many gifts. Love will guide my way, and everything else will just fall into place. I should not even need the other “stones”—even if having them does provide reassurance. 

In addition, I post a picture of the stones I carried with me during the marathon in 2010.

And below is a picture of what I received today.  The words my student shared with me led to my first reaction of "what a gift to know how much my journey has had an impact on someone else's journey."

Today, there are no more words to say. 

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