Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My New Passion!

I am one who has somewhat of a determined single focused mindset. Although I can effectively multi-task, I usually am focused in heart and mind on one big thing. I am a dreamer, a visionary, a goal setter and a big picture guy. I look at a field and see all that could be in it and then say how do we get there? As of the last few years I have felt myself slipping down a slope of small dreams! This has somehow found itself creeping into many areas of life. Then something strange happened. I turned the big 30! Turning thirty is a problem for some. Many people dread that turning of the biological clock. However, this is not me! I looked forward to it. It meant a new start! After a decade in my 20's of marriage, parenthood, ministry, education, and responsibility, I was ready to tackle all of these head on with a new sense of purpose and passion.

Here enters running. I have never enjoyed running. In fact I have always loathed it with all of my heart. I have tried on many occasions to begin the process of running. All of these efforts would start with the right intentions only to find me quitting before I really got started. My wife is one who can get me passionate about things. She came in one day and told me of a marathon for adoption. Although I thought it could have been at a more convenient place, I was intrigued by the idea. It was in this moment that something welled up deep within my heart. I now had a purpose to run. I now had a cause to push me beyond the couch and to take the initiative to regain my health and a new perspective for my 30's! So on July 5th I began a training routine for to run a half marathon in October.

Something happened this time when I began running. I actually enjoyed it. There were alot of reason why I enjoyed it, but I want to share 4. First it was different this time beacause I actually invested in these:

Shoes are so important in order to run well! A second reason I have fallen in love with running is this:

Running provides me with something I do not get alot of....solitude. I can hit the road with nothing but an ipod and the journey in front of me. I can think more clearly, pray more intensely, plan more diligently, and reflect more objectively when its just me and the road. No phone to ring or decisions to be made. It has become somewhat of a daily activity that I need and look forward to. A third reason I have come to love running is the opportunity for this:

Running has become a time of worship for me. Not only do I get to be in nature and see the beauty of God's creation unfold, but I can worship to music with no added responsibility. As a pastor, times of unhindered worship are rare. On Sunday morning, while others can worship with a clear mind, I am simultaneously thinking through the message I am about to share. Its not that I cant worship, because I can and do. Its just that I cant just worship. Running affords me that time with God. I can sing and even raise my hands in worship to Him while I run. Yes I do raise my hands when I am in a deep moment of worship while running. So if you ever see me going down the road with my hands lifted, just know I am not trying to flag anyone down :)

A fourth reason I have fallen in love with running is this:

Running is helping me to restore my health. I feel better at 30 than I ever did in my 20's. I have lost 20 lbs in less than 2 months and am building endurance which is producing more energy for me. It is somewhat like remodeling the house while living in it. There are days that it is a real struggle, but the outcome is the ultimate motivator! I intend to lose another 20lbs over the next few months and become more of a serious runner. In fact, after I accomplish the half marathon, I am going to begin training for a full marathon. Who knows after that, maybe even attempt a ultra marathon.

Running has become an agent of change in my life. It is forcing me to get things in order in my life. I am so thankful to my wife who encouraged me to begin. I am thankful to mamme and big who invested in our expensive shoes. The journey is just beginning and I cant wait to see where it takes me!


Nana's Nuggets said...

Nathan, I am enjoying your new thoughts! Really makes a person just kinda think a new direction. And I could not think of another person that can keep us on track!! and that is you! Thank You for being our Pastor and encourageing us to go beyond! You are the greatest!!