Friday, March 11, 2011

Running From Insanity (pt 2)

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, ~ Hebrews 12:1 ~

We are by far some of the most impatient people on earth. I don't know if this is just an American dilemma, or if it is just a naturally occurring trait of the human being. I am more apt to believe the latter than the former. Our impatience toward the nature of life itself, has moved us to create a pseudo world of unreality. In our attempt make life 'easier' we have seemingly wrapped ourselves within a cocoon that we cannot get out of. Our minds have been so polluted with convenience that it is difficult to believe what used to be normal and sane now looks crazy to us. If we cannot get it easy or quickly into our hands (or mouth), it is deemed too difficult a task. The word exercise has become a curse word to our psyches. To walk somewhere let alone run, well, that is just way too crazy. Everything, it seems, from the cradle to the grave, has been crafted for the convenience of the flesh. From microwave buttons to drive through fast food joints, the path of least resistance has been paved with the golden bricks of 'progress'. If we have to work too hard for it, then something must be wrong. To put it simply, what once was sane now looks insane, and the insane now looks sane.

This blanket of convenience has shrouded us in a cocoon of darkness that hinders us from truly seeing, not only the need to get back what we have lost, but the depth of how far we have fallen from this need. If you were to take an honest peek outside the safety of your covers you may just see that all the glitters is not golden. Go ahead, just flip back the cover a little and it doesn't take much of a look to comprehend the magnitude of our situation. Look around and take a peek at the land around you. Obesity, disease, and sickness are plaguing our culture. The overwhelming facts of study after study are littering the landscape with their truths. Yet, we remain docile in our comfort zone of denial. Living in the land of shadows and rowing down the river of denial, it is far easier to justify ourselves with the death at distance attitude of "Oh that will never happen to me!"

It's time to pull back the covers of our insanity! But only YOU can do this and the point is...YOU CAN DO THIS! It's time to get off the 'yellow' brick, magic pill road of impatience and hit the trails of your life. Running speaker and writer, John Bingham said, "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." Today is the day you start toward a new you. It has been said the journey of thousands miles begins with the first step. Today is the day you take that first step out of insanity and back into the race God has called you to run. If the truth be known, we were not built to live a sedentary life of ease and convenience. We were built to work and there is no true satisfaction in this life until this purpose is met head on.

You don't have to accept the insanity. You don't have to lay in the comfort zone of excuses. Shake yourself and look in the mirror. There is no straight jacket holding you back or fetters tying you down. Today is YOUR day to begin anew.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

(Robert Frost)

The choice is YOURS! Think about it! Isn't it time you get off the beaten path of insanity?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Running From Insanity

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24

I am an avid runner. I haven't always been a runner, but in the last decade running has become a part of who I am. I am not an elite runner, nor am I sponsored by some million dollar Nike contract. I am just a common man who likes to run. Over the past fifteen years, I have been blessed to run and complete twleve marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2005 and on my fiftieth birthday I ran a fifty mile Ultra Marathon. 

In high school I was a wrestler. I ran, not because I loved or enjoyed it, but because I had too. As a wrestler, running was a vehicle used to make me a stronger wrestler on the mat. Today, I love to run. I enjoy running! You may be thinking (as many have asked the same question over the years), ARE YOU INSANE? People who don't exercise or run, are quick to 'see' only the pain or uncomfortable aspect of exercising. "You ran how many miles???" Yet, if the truth were to be known, running has helped me to become more sane. In this crazy, rat race world of going, going, and going, if there is one thing people need, it is an escape from the 'insanity' of it all. Running has helped me to momentarily step outside of the rat race and look within the reality of myself. While running, the Lord deals with me and through running, the Lord has helped me to 'see' things concerning the issues of life I never would have received in the comfort zone of my life before running.

Albert Einstein, rightly stated the definition of insanity when he said, 'Insanity is doing the same behavior over and over but expecting different results' It seems, at least to me, that we are looking for answers to our dilemmas of life through rose colored glasses. So entrained within the comfort zone of our bad habits, we seem convinced that real change will come by doing the same things the same way we have always done them. We seem content to pursue 'change' only if it remains within the comfort zone of our lifestyles. How many times have we bought into the advertisements that promise phenomenal weight loss WITHOUT EXERCISE? Under the spell of what I call 'the magic pill delusion', we pull out our wallets, and shuck out the cash, all in the hopes of true change taking place without any changing of our habitual ways of thinking and doing. Only after the money is spent, and we are left stranded in our old habits, do we realize we once again bought into the lie of the delusion.

It has been said 'the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary'. There is no way around this principle. If we want success, in anything, we MUST work. We cannot remain steadfast in the beliefs everything will get better, while pursuing the art of laziness. Life is an adventure, that is, if you are willing to get off the couch. Don't you think its time YOU begin to run from the comfort zone of the insane idea that your life will get better by doing the same things you have done...well...for most of your life now. Its time to get off the couch of easy living, and step outside the door. No, better yet, why don't you RUN out the door and away from insanity and come run sane with me!!! What do you have to lose...but the weight of your fettered insanity!