Xtreme Running

i used to be an extreme runner…
now it’s not like i’m an ultra runner that’s insane running.
i used to be extreme because i would obsess over running… it was like a drug. i couldn’t wait for my next running fix -aka- four miles on the trail.
i kept track of my miles and averaged between 18-24 miles per week. and i would be frustrated if i ran less.
this year i have lightened up a lot. i still like to run…but i don’t obsess over the number of miles i’m logging.
this is partially because i don’t have a current running goal. in the past few years, i completed my first 1/2 marathon and several other races. i loved all these experiences but…
this year i stopped keeping track and started walking more.
there are many reasons why… but mainly because i only want to obsess over one thing – JESUS!
even more than an extreme runner, i am an extreme worshipper.

today i was doing the dishes and strongly felt the Lords presence with the Jesus Culture – Live from NYC worship CD playing in the background.
doing dishes is seemingly a menial task but it can also be powerful. often times, i hear God when i’m doing the dishes.
several years ago, i read a book that changed my life… The Practice of the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence was a monk who served the Lord, and was preoccupied with having a sensitivity to the Lords presence, even in the simple daily tasks he was required to do.
Brother Lawrence primary job was cleaning up after others. sounds like motherhood, huh?

i also hear God when i am on a walk / run… or when i go “wogging”… or ”jalking”.
today i was planning to do 3 miles on the tread mill – a sure thing – easy peasy lemon squeasy – get on, zone out while watching t.v., 3 miles later get off. certainly nothing extreme about it.
however, today was a beautiful day, so adam really encouraged me to go running outside.
ugh, i thought. i’ll just go on the treadmill and get it over with – it’s safe – …but our God is not safe.

so i ran around my hood listening to the Jesus Culture NYC CD blaring in my headphones.
as soon as my foot hit the pavement, this became extreme running and extreme worship.
i ran, danced, skipped, jogged backwards, twirled, lifted my hands, leaped and jumped for joy, i felt like i was flying down the hills…
i looked crazy but i didn’t care it was wonderful!
and we don’t live in a quiet secluded neighborhood…
i felt like a gazelle running, leaping thru the air, but i probably looked more like an elephant pounding the pavement 🙂 still i didn’t care. and i didn’t cough – praise God – because of laughter this week! hahahahaha!!!
when we were attending Christ for the Nations Bible Institute, there was another student who was constantly looking up toward heaven everywhere she walked. i always thought she looked a little awkward, now i’m that girl.
today my soul was filled with freedom / song lyrics / reminder of my calling – worship / my need to dance before the Lord…

still, there are limits to extreme running – there is an attachment to our neighborhood where older folks live. i used to run there, but one day was stopped by a resident and told their streets were private and me walking thru there with my three year old would be likened to one of them coming and standing on my front lawn.  huh? that made no sense to me. their hood is an ‘off shoot’ of ours, where those residents have to drive thru the main road in our our hood in order to get to theirs. that day i was walking on the road, not near any of their houses – with my three year old. still i was told the residents had a right to call the police if any non residents were walking thru. and she kindly pointed out to me the ‘no trespassing’ signs. wow. i had just assumed those were for robbers or to discourage loitering. not for me and my three year old…

anyhoo – there might be boundaries in where you can go for extreme running, but there are no boundaries in extreme worship. in fact, freedom is encouraged. but beware, you might get a few stares if you’re dancing before the Lord, combining extreme running and extreme worship. 2 Samuel 6:14-16.

as the songs played and i went on, i was rounding a curve on the sidewalk listening to “Walk with Me” and i walked by one of my neighbors standing by her garage door. i smiled and waved and kept walking – but listening to the lyrics and the Holy Spirit, i turned around! she was now getting her mail, so i approached her, introduced myself and we talked for a minute. then i said ‘i don’t want to bother you, but i’m a Christian and as i was walking by you a minute ago, i felt like i should ask if you have any prayer requests’. she was very grateful and said ‘yes, i am a believer too’. she told me about her need, we talked a little more and i got to pray with my neighbor!

so maybe you can’t do extreme running, but everyone can go walking and give extreme worship a try! trust me, you will burn calories and so much more if you give it your all!