a running reflection for Good Friday

April 6, 2012

Last Friday was a light practice for the track & field team.  We had a meet the day before and this was to be the last practice before Spring break (yes, I gave them workouts to do over the week).  So after we warmed up and stretched I gave them some unusual directions for our run together.  We were going to run through the cemetery right across the street.  Just a good tempo-run for about 15 minutes, but they weren’t allowed to talk to each other at all.  Instead I asked them to consider the meaning of the coming ‘Holy Week’ and their own mortality.

I explained that we’re doing this for a couple of reasons:  1) It will make you a better runner.  We take for granted so many things in our life and our health is one of those things until it is taken from us by disease, accident or death.  You won’t always be able to run.  Feel the joy of it now.  Today.  In this moment.  2)  More importantly, it will make you a better human being.  To consider your own mortality is not a morbid mental exercise but an essential to living life to the full now and maintaining spiritual vitality in the present.  There are ten trillion things that could happen to us in the next 30 seconds let alone the next day, month or year.  Which of us “by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

It was a great, peace-filled run.  Even the teenage girls refrained from talking!  And I got more feedback from the students and parents than I had on anything to date.  There is something equalizing about the grave.  Considering the end of our earthly tent we are freed to live a life of gratitude for the time we have today and the wonder of now.

Good Friday is a time to lament and consider the depth of meaning in what is perhaps the pinnacle chapter of God’s story of redemption.  I’m thinking I’ll go for a run today and hope to consider my mortality and “look on him whom they have pierced” for us and our salvation. 


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