A Blissful 10 Miles and Reflections on Life

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On Wednesday the sun was again shining brightly when I got home from work, so I headed out the door for a 10-mile run at slightly faster than marathon pace. At 29C/84F, I believe it was the warmest day of the year so far, in any case it felt wonderful – the miles ticked away in no time – it was one of those runs that you wish you would have every time!

Over the last year or so, I have been thinking a lot about running and life in general. People ask me sometimes why I run so much and so far. I ask myself sometimes what I am trying to achieve and why. Most runners are spurred on by the hope of a new best time, or maybe beating a competitor. I’m not as motivated in this direction as others, but I do try to beat the clock from time to time.

If you have been reading my blog lately you probably read that my sister-in-law Karen passed away unexpectedly on May 1. The pastor from the missionary school that she was a part of wrote a thoughtful blog entry honoring Karen and the life she lived. It really spoke to my heart and I thought I would repeat a portion of it here. You can read the whole entry at http://www.life-mission.org/blog/.

“The church is a foretaste of the New Creation. As a church we are to model now the kind of relationships that will characterize the New Creation. That's the key to understanding Karen's life.

Butch told us about Karen's life and said, “Karen loved God and people. Her smile brought joy to everyone she met. She tirelessly served people. She enjoyed birding, music, and reading, but her greatest joy was knowing, loving and serving people.” Karen's life reflected the gospel message. She bet her life on the gospel. It was worth it to her. She lived that future reality in the now. The New Creation was dawning in Karen's every action. Karen answered the prayer we pray every morning: Thy Kingdom come Thy will be done on earth as in heaven. She had caught a vision of this kingdom of love, believed in it, lived it, worked to bring it about. Karen lived this way and fully expected to keep living this way for all of eternity, and that thrilled her.

Karen's life spoke. It pointed to a future hope. Her life gently urges us to rethink our priorities. What's worth living for? What matters? Ambitions do not matter. Material possessions do not matter. Reputation does not matter. People matter. Real people. Specific people. In the end only relationships matter.

What can it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? This isn't about going to heaven and avoiding hell. This is about missing the thing that matters most in this universe, the thing that makes us human, the thing that gives meaning to human existence. Our soul is the center of who we are. We were made for relationships, for love, for friendship. If we center on things, center on career, center on achievements, we lose our soul.

God is all about love, about community, about people - knowing them, loving them, and serving them. The gospel is about the restoration of a community of mankind in love with the Trinity and with each other. It's good news that God is creating a place where His family can be happy, healthy, and whole; a place where we can know, love, and serve each other – for therein is true joy.

Karen awaits us for the dawning of that New Creation. If she could be here now she would smile that incredible smile, and let us know that with Jesus she is making a place for us in that new New Creation.”

1 Comment

Jack,
Thanks for sharing this. I love this paragraph:

What can it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? This isn't about going to heaven and avoiding hell. This is about missing the thing that matters most in this universe, the thing that makes us human, the thing that gives meaning to human existence. Our soul is the center of who we are. We were made for relationships, for love, for friendship. If we center on things, center on career, center on achievements, we lose our soul.

I think it says it all.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack published on May 16, 2008 7:02 AM.

Race Goals for Mannheim Marathon was the previous entry in this blog.

A 15-Mile Medium Long Run is the next entry in this blog.

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