Friday, March 28, 2008

Who knows where the time goes?

Who knows where the time goes?
Lyrics by Sandy Denny

Across the evening sky, all the birds are leaving
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
Sad, deserted shore, your fickle friends are leaving
Ah, but then you know it's time for them to go
But I will still be here, I have no thought of leaving
I do not count the time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
And I am not alone while my love is near me
I know it will be so until it's time to go
So come the storms of winter and then the birds in spring again
I have no fear of time
For who knows how my love grows?
And who knows where the time goes?
(Copyright © 1967 Sonet Music)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Stream Splashings

About ten Trailheads ran at the Bel Monte Endurance Run outside Waynesboro, Virginia on Saturday morning. I had a great time running in the 25K or 15.5 mile race. The race started in the dark and my favorite parts of the race came in the first half hour where there were multiple stream crossings. I enjoyed the cool feeling of seeking out a sure path in the dark of the morning and the dark beneath the surface of the water. East coast steams are usually surprisingly smooth with rock that have had water running over them for thousands upon thousands of years.

As a tribute to my favorite aspect of Saturday's race, I ran for about 70 minutes on Monday afternoon and splashed through Carrboro's Bolin Creek, back and forth across the stream simulating the crossings on Saturday in Virginia. I felt like a kid relishing in getting wet and muddy. What fun. I felt like I was singing praises to the Creation and the Creator.

I woke up Sunday morning, stiff and tired, and a little sad for having chosen running over the Easter Vigil at Holy Family. As the birds sang to me, I sang back one of my favorite Easter hymns, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Al - le - lu- ia!" I have no idea how this hymn was in my head. I bet I had not sung it in a year. Of course, it was sung at Holy Family later that morning in worship. The fourth stanza of the second verse goes, "Christ has opened paradise, Al - le - lu - ia!" There is all kinds of theology latent in such a claim as this such as Christ undoing what was done by Adam and Eve in the Fall and I have loads of use for it all, but for Monday's run, I felt like Christ in the world opening paradise with each stomp on the surface of the water. Rather than tiptoe around and look for only dry rocks and paths I turned headlong into the danger of ankle twisting and falling and opened up the paradise of Bolin Creek over and over.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Prophetic Stirrings

Who is holding this scroll?
What is the reference?
What does it mean to you?
Whoever holds these words:
With a word, the Lord stirs me in the morning; in the morning, he stirs my ear to hear like a disciple,
I like the person and the words on the scroll. I find it a shock that anyone ever gets up in the morning. Teenagers have to be dragged out of bed with a front-end loader. When someone is depressed they have trouble stirring, though they usually are not really sleeping. Those who mourn want to stay in bed. Why get up? Someone dear to them is gone. They wonder, how long, oh Lord, will you forget me forever. But the Lord does not seem to forget. At some point, even if late the next day, God forces us up and out of the bed. Is it a Word that we hear or something else? For most of us, most of the days of our lives, God stirs us in the morning. We get up.
What do you hear first in the morning after you have been stirred? Lately, I hear the birds of Spring. They are noisy and while it is still dark they sing songs. Are they working, mating, building, fighting. Whatever it is, they sound busy. They say, get up. We do not care how long you waited to go to bed, no matter to us, because it is time to start again today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Ordination--putting myself out there

Today, I forwarded an ordination paper or a spiritual autobiography to a church in Charlotte who, to my surprise, would like to ordain me to the ministry. Some of my running friends have wanted to know what it means to be ordained. Whatever I say, never seems to satisfy their curiosity. Here is what I know. Ordination publicly recognizes and confirms that an individual has been called by God to ministry. It acknowledges that the individual has gone through a period of discernment and training related to this call. Ordination authorizes that individual to take on the office of ministry and to perform baptisms, marriages, and preside at The Lord's Supper. All of this is by faith and understood to come by the power of the Holy Spirit usually witnessed in the laying on of hands at some point during the ordination service.

In my spiritual autobiography, I wrote many things, ten pages worth, but here is one excerpt about running and writing:

I believe in starting projects everyday, like running and writing. I start them, and then put them away, when we begin to fight with one another. It might be a sore knee, or a cluttered thought, but I will know when the fight has begun. I walk or turn away and begin the journey tomorrow. The essential is to begin the projects everyday. The days that they work, and juices start flowing, I will barely stop or take breaks. But here is the kicker, the days that I never start, do not even have a chance of being great runs or whole chapters to a book.

If you are in the business of prayer, and more of you are than you would like to let on, please pray for my ordination that it be to the glory of God.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008 --- post your results

I stumbled onto this website that keeps up with race results --- This is a very cool site and you should consider logging on and creating your own account so you can see how you have been doing the last few years. If some of your results are not posted and you remember a race that you would really like to see on your list, just click on: "Add a Missing Race," go through the steps and the athlink's folks will post your missing race within a day or so.

Have the last few years showed a steady quickening or slowing in your race results? Are there gaps that represent injury or a time when you were out of the country? If you are as vain as me, you might even delete the races that you'd rather folks not see or those races, you know, you didn't race hard, or you were running with someone else, but you don't want anyone to think that you are actually a 55 minute 10K guy. No offense to those who move kinda slow like, because I've learned the hard way, there is always somebody faster. We should all be humbled for the digital ticker never lies. Our excuses try to make a liar out of the clock, but the clock just does its thing. Regardless, will allow you to tinker a bit with the results you make public. I'm also a bit embarrassed by how often I enter these races. What am I doing with my life anyway?