I’m running away….

I first discovered running about 8 years ago. A friend told me that at first, I’d feel like a tractor was reversing over me; chest, legs, bum…everything would beg for mercy….but if I kept going just a teeny bit more, apparently, if I didn’t drop dead at that point, it then got pretty flipping good.

So I tested the theory, I didn’t die…and whahey, turns out she was right, the endorphins are very, VERY flipping good!

But being honest, much of the past 8 years has been, ‘run like a freak for 2 weeks’ followed by ‘not do much at all for 3 months’. But a couple of months ago, I decided that I was going to seriously push through the 2 week barrier and KEEP going.

And so for the past month, I’ve been running around 30k every week and I’ve discovered this thing my friend Sara calls, ‘Runpeace’.

It’s this moment, usually after the ‘I must be mad, I’m gonna DIE’ phase has passed, where I’m suddenly floating….and in my case, I feel like I can really, really talk to God. It’s even better if you happen to be running up a mountain (yes… I attempted Moel Famau in North Wales today!!), surrounded by the very best creation has to offer.

And today, I stopped to take a glug of water (and breathe…which helps in the whole staying alive business) and there it was; glorious sun glinting out from behind a line of spectacularly arranged clouds, lush, green valleys, not a soul or sound to be heard, other than the odd pitiful sheep bleat….and wow, it was like a tiny glimpse of Heaven.

I was just overwhelmed by the beauty around me…no other word to describe it…and the peace and the feeling that me and God were up there alone and that He was listening to me…no one else…just me. So, I grabbed the opportunity and said everything out loud, that had been in my head…a sort of prayer mixed with thankfulness (and if I’m honest!) a bit of a whinge too!

But as I stood there, and took in the view, I got my breath back and kept on jogging up the next bit. And the next bit of view was even more amazing. I felt a bit weepy that God had made all this, just for me to look at and enjoy…and maybe also to make me feel a bit more connected to him.

‘Runpeace’. Love it! ūüôā

How to have an adventure….

At church recently, we sang the song which begins with the line, ‘There must be more than this….’.

I looked around at the group of worshippers, not entirely sure that any of us were really absorbing the words….but later it made me think. ¬†What do we really mean, when we sing, ‘There must ¬†be more than this?’

The Bible’s a pretty good guide for this kind of thing (ha!) and ¬†my brain flicked back to Paul and all that he endured for the Gospel.

A few years back, I was in Malta in a place called St Paul’s Bay, which is the place where Paul was said to have been shipwrecked. ¬†There is a little stretch of land offshore, where a huge statue of Paul stands. ¬† I remember one day, walking along the shore and looking out at that statue and thinking about Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ and how, in addition to that, ¬†he endured snake bites,¬†threats of ¬†death, beatings, jail and so much more. ¬†He must have, ¬†at times, utterly despaired¬† at all he was enduring for the sake of Jesus. ¬†¬† But he could do it, because he’d simply had a glimpse of ‘more’. ¬†¬†He knew, deep down, into the depths of his socks, that there was MORE, that it WAS worth dying for, being beaten for….he’d caught a glimpse of the glory of God and he was happy to give up everything in its pursuit.

But, in my life, which is fairly comfortable, how do I get to the point of needing/wanting ‘more’? ¬†Why is it so easy to settle and be satisfied with my relationship with God, when the Bible says there is something literally ‘incomparable’ to be had. ¬† Why would I settle for anything less?

At work, the radio is always on (tuned to UCB, of course!) and some days, I am so busy, I don’t really ‘hear’ it, but yesterday, I heard one of our regular contributors talk again about ‘surrender’.

To get ‘more’, you have to ‘surrender’ and that’s not just a nice word in a song, that means literally saying to God, ‘I am DONE doing it my way…take everything….the good bits, the bad bits, the attitudes, the grumps, the things I watch, the things I read and listen to….the friendships, the family….everything.’

Probably just about the scariest thing you can ever do….and yet, it’s also pretty crazily ¬†liberating to chuck everything up in the air and say, ‘I can’t do it on my own….but I know I can, with the ‘more’ that God offers.

It’s a completely insane adventure…and one that can take you to places you’d never dreamed.¬†¬†¬†¬†It probably involves some risk, some pain and sometimes even being misunderstood.¬†¬†¬†¬† But I like adventure…and I want to try this one… ūüôā

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