September 21st, 2016
Warm Up: Ecclesiastes 3: 11, He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Stretching: Exodus 16
Run: I’m writing this devotion from my running experiences. I don’t read a lot about running and I don’t follow running plans. I don’t participate in running groups and I don’t run a lot of races. I’m not a student of running. I’m a runner because I run. But I do have credentials in other disciplines. For example, I have an advanced degree in writing. It’s this discipline that helps me craft running analogies from my spiritual walk. So, I do know something about writing other than just my writing experiences. Here’s something that connects writing and running: Each has a beginning, middle, and end. I know that when I run, I will start and I will finish. Somewhere in between that distance is a middle part. This may seem like useless and obvious information, but it is relevant when you consider that we use it to pace ourselves during a run, right? The vital part of story is transformation. There are more technical terms for story structure, but the nature of transformation in the primary character (the protagonist) is central to the power of story. Somehow, the journey changes the protagonist from who they were when they began the race to when they finished it.
As it relates to running, who could argue that we are ‘changed’ during the race we run? I’ve shared several stories about memorable runs and how running has taught me about life and eternity. At a minimum, I’m not the same man I was when I started running simply because of the roads I’ve traveled. Ultimately, this is a spiritual truth and it’s one of the more compelling reasons why story is still the most powerful form of communication we know. The nature of transformation in the journey is the cry of our hearts. It is the eternal and subconscious hope of every life. We all want a story that ends “happily ever after” because it is already implanted in us and the work of transformation in the story speaks to us in a language that is not of this world. Let every time you run be a reminder that you are being transformed in this life through the story God is writing in you as you run this (human) race.
Cool Down: “Lord, life’s a rat race down here. Sometimes it seems like my story is going nowhere and so I want to take the pen and rewrite it; as if I could somehow erase what I’ve done in the past and rewrite it with a better ending. But taking control of my own life is not the answer. Like the children in the wilderness, I need to trust you for one line at a time. As I recount the chapters of your faithfulness in my life, how could I think I might do better? Let me stay behind the stroke of your pen filling up the page of my life today, fixing my eyes on you. Be the author and perfecter of my faith today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run into it and are safe.” Proverbs 18:10
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