Today, I had a fun exchange with an alumna of the MBA program at the Carey Business School. We had been talking about giving and mentoring. The discussion about giving led to references to three specific Bible verses. Then, I mentioned my history of blogging about Bible verses and finding meaning in how the Bible verses relate to my running race times and bib numbers. My former student wrote back sharing a note about Hebrews 12:1-2 (a common verse for runners to focus on):
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. For the sake of the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising its shame, and has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.
The key is that when I saw the Hebrews 12:1-2, I immediately thought of a run in the fall of 2011. The run was the beginning of my shift from running with groups from one of the local running stores to running more and more with people from Back on My Feet.
The run at a local, East Baltimore high school track was done early in the morning in September 2011, as a final time trial before the taper for the Baltimore Running Festival that year. I had expected to run it with the Charm City Run training group in the evening but there was a dinner at the home of the Dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health that evening that I planned to attend. So, I got two friends to run with me. One a student from Ireland. The other who was an MPH advisee of mine and is now the local Executive Director of Back on My Feet. That run was to get me my fastest time in a two mile time trial up to that point, In fact, we ran a 12:12 that morning. (Easy to relate to 12:1-2.)
That began a whole series of runs at the Dunbar track. Over time, I got to know several of the other runners. And one of the runners has become one of my closest training partners over the four years since. What is most interesting is that the training partner and the alumna I had started the online conversation with are two people whom I have invited to attend the next United Way breakfast featuring a speaker telling his story in his own words.
So, in my ongoing effort to find connections in life, it was amazing to find someone who was a runner, who was familiar with important Bible verses (even if she had never necessarily tried to relate them to her numbers or times), and whose suggestion of a Bible verse that is relevant to runners brought back a wonderful memory with a roundabout connection to someone that the alumna will meet soon. An amazing circle in my life. More connections to help me make sense of my life.