While out for a run last fall, I realized that I had been "running" for nearly half of my life! After getting through a brief moment of denial (how could I possibly be that old ?!?), I began to reflect on how I even came to run in the first place...
After an embarrassing softball season my sophomore year of high school, I decided that I would have to try a different spring sport the following year. So I signed up for track and field. There are so many track and field events...surely I would be good at something. I decided to try distance running. It was horrible at first. It was really humbling watching other runners lap me during a 1-mile race. I dreaded going to practice every day...it was just so hard...I felt like such a failure.
I'm really not sure why I kept at it, but I did, and I found myself running cross country during my senior year. Around this same time, I began to get more serious about my Christian faith and to ask questions about whether my value was based on my cross country times or whether it was based on the truth that God loves me, regardless of my performance (still struggling with this one!). I remember singing a song to myself as I struggled through each cross country meet. The song was based on the Bible's Micah 6:8, which says He has told you, O people, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (New American Standard Bible). I would sing this to remind myself that my course time didn't really matter...that doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly are the things that honor God and the things that I should be striving for.
I'm still learning so much about what it means to aim for justice, kindness, and humility. The more I try to be about these things, the more that I see I have a long way to go.