My colleague, Tim Mitchinson of Illinois, has a blog on running and its benefits. I know people here in Southern California will benefit from these ideas – ideas that can be expressed whether on a run or walk!
It’s spring, and the runners (and walkers) are out in droves.
According to The Runner’s Guide, “There are a number of different benefits which an individual can gain from running on a regular basis. There are some runners who run simply for the joy of running but there are others who run because they realize there are a great deal of benefits which can be gained from rigorous exercise such as running. Some of these benefits may include weight loss, improved cardiovascular health, improved bone health, improved mood and better coordination.”
Wikihow gives tips on being a good runner, which include the following:
- Motivate yourself
- Run consistently
- Do other work-outs that will help
- Set new challenges for yourself
- Ask other runners for advice
- Join a sports club or running team
- Hang out with other runners
- Don’t give up!
Recently I read the experience of Rev. Theresa Cho. “It may sound funny for a pastor to say,” she admitted, “but a little over a year ago, I had a hard time praying.” She still believed in God, but had doubts about whether she was doing with her life what God wanted her to do. She couldn’t find the words to ask for guidance. She remembered her high school years, and how she found running as a way to get through her problems.
So now, to Rev. Cho, praying sometimes means leaving her church, putting on her sneakers, and going for a run.
She doesn’t listen to music when she runs. Instead, she commented, “I run and hear what’s around me. I let thoughts go into my mind, and I lift up some in prayer. It’s been a way of rediscovering how to connect with God.”
Actually, many individuals find the quiet and solitude which comes when running or walking, gives them the opportunity to pray. It gives them a time to think more clearly and deeply about the issues in their lives. The tips given to be a good runner are actually also good for increasing one’s ability to pray. Let’s take another look at them:
- Motivate yourself – realize that prayer has many benefits, and your prayers will be answered.
- Run consistently – pray every day.
- Do other work-outs that will help – include reading sacred texts, singing spiritual songs and helping others in your prayer-routine.
- Set new challenges for yourself – live consistently with your prayer.
- Ask other runners for advice – discover how others pray.
- Join a sports club or running team – locate a church or place of worship.
- Hang out with other runners – find other people who pray.
- Don’t give up!
The Bible states, “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us,…” (Hebrews 12: 1). The Interpreter’s Bible states about this passage, “Men begin in joyous devotion. But the early vision fades; the race is long; obstacles block the way; we notice the diversions at the side; and the race slows to a walk, then to a careless saunter. Paul complained of the Galatians, ‘You were running well; who hindered you from obeying the truth?’ (Gal. 5:7). The call to perseverance is the only valid call to be a person. Without a goal toward which we bend every energy, we become mere meeting places of the forces that play upon us, not persons at all.”
To all the runners (and walkers) out there – keep at it, and include prayer in your work-outs. The lessons that make you a good athlete will benefit your spirituality also.
Link to Tom’s blog