It was WARM in our little town today-- 55 degrees!
Ordinarily, I'd run outside with Mr. M on a day this nice, but (boo! hiss!) he's in the middle of being attacked by his own innards (this is a recurrent thing, and is pretty much manageable).
I was on my own, and I did not want to go. Or rather, I was anxious about it. Which was strange, because I like running, and I love being outside, and I think warm weather in January is better than getting our annual insurance rebate check.
I decided to go, and to pray about the anxiety while I was out there.
While I was praying, I thought about Mr. Rogers. My friend Danny Fisher recommended this great book about him by Amy Hollingsworth, and I just finished reading it today. I didn't really watch Mr. Rogers when I was a kid, and so I knew about the blazer-to-cardigan wardrobe change, but not much else. Mr. Rogers believed that one of the best things we can do for kids (and adults, for that matter) is to openly be exactly who we are.
Back to running: who I am is one damn slow runner. That is a fact. But praying, and thinking about Mr. Rogers, I started thinking, "Respect your pace."
Slow is exactly the right pace for my runs right now. I'm often embarrassed by it when there are other runners/walkers (toddlers) around. So I can be embarrassed by my shuffle, or I can accept that today, that's my pace, and carry on.
I thought, "Respect your pace" all through my run-- 4 miles gave me a good bit of time to meditate on it. As I padded along the asphalt, I thought about all the ways that's a good policy: in running, in discernment, in relationships, we should respect our own pace. I thought about the epistle to the Hebrews, and the admonition to "run with endurance the race marked out for us."
And I had a really, really nice run today.
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