Running with Gratitude July 28, 2010Posted by orualundone in Blessings, Gratitude, Struggles.
Tonight I went jogging. I only recently started and I have a love-hate relationship with running. I love that I run now, I love how I feel afterwards, I even love the occasions when I find a really good pace and it starts to feel natural. But the actual act of getting out there and getting going – still not a fan. I really didn’t feel like going tonight, but as I just signed up for my first 5k in October, I am trying to get on a schedule of 3x per week in hopes of developing some consistency. And as no one else was home, I had no other commitments, and I hadn’t done any exercise today, I had no excuses not to go.
So I was running, but I was running with bad grace. It was hot. It was late in the day. I had a stitch in my side. I was tired of all my music.
And then as I rounded the latter half of my second lap around our apartment complex, I saw a woman walking ahead of me. Well, limping. She was using a cane, and seemed to be wearing leg braces under her clothes. She was an Indian woman (the majority of our town is Southeast Asian), slim, and fairly young – maybe in her early thirties. Every step was clearly painful for her. She would stop every few meters and wipe the sweat from her brow. But she seemed to determined to keep going.
I jogged easily around her, feeling guilty as I passed. I realized that my attitude needed an adjustment, and that I should be thankful that I even have the ability to run. I am not talking about praying that most odious of prayers, “Lord, I thank you that I am not like other men.” That’s a whole different essay.
I mean taking the time to genuinely praise God for what I have. Two strong legs to run. Time to do so. A safe place to do so. A truly lovely evening, just sinking into smoky twilight, and music that lifts my soul to the Lord when I hear it. Because all of that could change at any moment – that and more could all be taken from me.
If I can’t appreciate it when I have it, and use it to the full extent of my abilities, what would I do if my circumstances changed? Bad grace in plenty doesn’t bode well for a good attitude in times of trial. If I can barely get it together to overcome essentially non-existent obstacles to do something so simple as running when I am perfectly healthy, what would I do when every movement was a battle?
I have so much. I do so little. So many things come easily for me, and yet I make so little effort. While so many others fight, literally, for every step.
“From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him will be asked all the more.”