The Spirituality of Running: A Meditation for the Olympiad

The Spirituality of Running: A Meditation for the Olympiad

“But the saints want to inspire, not intimidate us.”

“When the questions pounce, you need the will to embrace and accept the pain.”

“The athletes who “disappear” into the Zone or the Flow for a few fleeting moments may struggle to put language to it, but they know something extraordinary has happened that was not of their own making.”

The religious imagineer

Jim Friedrich and Mike Riebs, Santa Monica Mountains, 1961 Jim Friedrich and Mike Riebs, Santa Monica Mountains, 1961

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith… who endured…so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Even the youthful may faint and grow weary, 
even the fittest may stumble and fall,
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and never faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)

The perpetual contest between weariness and perseverance is familiar to every athlete, and every saint. You’re going to get tired. You’re going to get discouraged. You may faint and fall…

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