Running the Race: Feeling God’s Pleasure

Ian Charleson (foreground) and Ben Cross (left...

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On Dec. 4 I will run in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas. Once a week, I will provide my observations on the connection between the spiritual life and training to run a marathon. Please visit my White Rock fundraising page to honor my daughter and contribute to a great cause.

St. Irenaeus once said that, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.” When I am running, I can’t help but think about this quote. Though there are times during training when I feel like I am dying there are also times when I feel more alive than ever. The breeze is blowing, my heart is racing, my legs keep churning, and my mind is alert to my surroundings. I am fully engaged in the moment and nothing is distracting my focus other than getting one foot to move in front of the other.

There is a famous line from Chariots of Fire where Eric Liddell says that when he runs he “feels God’s pleasure.” I can’t tell you that I have reached such spiritual heights in my life but the sense of aliveness that I get when running is getting me closer to feeling God’s pleasure.

When Jesus says that he has come to bring us life and life more abundantly, he is not just talking about eternal life. He is talking about an existence right now that is full of the light of the world. I want my life to be this abundant and full of light. When I run, I am learning more and more what this Christian life can look like.

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