Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Running Through Luke 24

Wednesday, 4/17/13, 6:00pm
About to run 13 miles to show my support for the Boston Marathon community who experienced tragic bombing on Patriot's Day, April 15, 2013.

All week I have been thinking about Luke 24 and the road to Emmaus. The text says that the distance between Jerusalem and the village of Emmaus was about 7 miles or 11K. Along the way to Emmaus they were talking about all that had happened and the fact the He was not where they thought He would be. I am not running with others, but I will be praying to God and preparing to discuss all that happened with others.

As they were making their way to Emmaus, Jesus began to walk alongside them. At first, they were kept from recognizing Him. Will that be true for me? Will Jesus be out there running with me, but I will not be able to recognize Him? Will He be a biker coming the other way, or will He be among the trees, or will He appear as the very man from Nazareth?

Will He ask, what are you thinking about (discussing) as you run along this road? (verse 17).

The text says that they came to know Him in the breaking of the bread and then they returned to Jerusalem at once (verse 34, NIV). I get the sense that on the way back from Emmaus to Jerusalem, maybe they were running, or at least walking very briskly.

In a few minutes, I will run on the American Tobacco Trail from Southpoint Crossing to the Lucky Strike Tower and back. It is about 11K each way. I hope to return at once, listen without ceasing, watch carefully so that I can recognize Him and then if He disappears immediately, know that it is all part of His plan.

The early verses of Luke 24 talk a great deal about remembering His words and how He said what would happen to him such as being handed over to sinners, be crucified, and on the third day rise again. There is a great emphasis in the text on the word remember as in "Runners United to Remember." I hope that by running in light of Luke 24 I am able to remember what has happened in Boston in a way that stays with me.

The Morning After, 6:45am

It was a great run. Very tiring. I was definitely not in shape for a post-work 22K (14 mile) run. The rest of the night I had a very upset stomach and was losing all kinds of fluids. Worried I had picked up a bug, but now the morning has broken and all is better.

During the run I took a careful look at the two mile mark, where the trail crosses Fayetteville Street, where we don't worship anymore because of violence in the vicinity and harassment. There is trash all over a clearing that has been made to increase visibility on the trail. It is basically a dirt mound between the Tobacco Trail and the Parkview Mini Mart. It looks to be the habit to drop glass bottles there. How much wine and beer is represented in the trash that lies there? I want to go and clean up this clearing. God, show me how.

At American Tobacco and the Lucky Strike Tower there were all kinds of goings on. A Durham Bulls baseball game was getting started, Tyler's was thumping, there was a Zumba class in the grass in front of the Lucky Strike Tower. The lead instructor invited me to join, but I felt in a hurry to return to Southpoint Crossing/Jerusalem. Maybe I should have stopped? He walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." Maybe I was Jesus in this part of the drama, yet in no way like him because I failed to accept their hospitality and stay and eat/exercise. I was already in disciple mode, hurrying to return to Jerusalem. In my defense, I had promised to be at my own home by 8:00pm and while the scene was lovely, though not so dark and deep, I had miles to go before I would drive home and sleep (a perversion of Stopping by Woods, but you get the gist).

I don't have much to say about Boston specifically. I will be listening to the stories of friends who were there. I will try to remember. I can say that I feel more of a nudge to return to Hopkinton and run from there to Boston again. After my experience last year, I said my return would be never or a very long time away, but perhaps that has changed somehow. Perhaps those who can, need to return sooner to the Boston Marathon and consider those 42K like an extended Road to Emmaus.
The Supper at Emmaus 1601 Canvas Art by CaravaggioCaravaggio Fine Art Open Edition Giclée:"Supper at Emmaus"

Thursday, April 11, 2013