The Bare Soul - July 1, 2007
The Journey's End

The end of a matter is better than its beginning; Patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit. - Ecclesiastes 7:8

I love running. I love barefoot running. However, some days running is not about a feeling, but a decision. It is about forcing myself out onto the sidewalk or the trail or the street or wherever I am running and just "do it"! On days such as these, the first mile is generally a drag! When I'm trying to find my "groove", I sometimes feel like I am pounding along and not floating as I often feel when my groove is "on". But, I said it's not about feeling, right? Right! I just keep going until I find that connection between soul and body and I sense that cosmic locomotion throughout my being. Ah, that's more like it!

Cruise control is a wonderful invention for automobiles. Just set it and go! In the beginning, it's a matter of finding the right speed and then setting the controls and "Voila!" -- a regulated speed! "Cruising" while running allows me this opportunity to not so much focus on every detail of the moment, or even the end of the run when I will be able to rest, but it allows free thought and prayer time to sort through many different things while running. Sometimes, however, it is not a given that I will get to kick it into cruise. These can be difficult runs that as I concern myself with how I'm landing, too much debris, tiredness, etc.

So one might say, "why force yourself to run because then it becomes a chore, right?". Well, maybe to some but there is something to be said for doing something, consistently, on a daily basis. For this runner, I believe it builds discipline and character. Merely doing something when one feels like it can be compared with other things we all do on a daily basis, but with a "feeling" of urgency and a "must do" attitude. Work is a good example. I wonder how long I would stay employed at my present job or any subsequent jobs that I only went to work when I felt like it. Hmm ... not an experiment I think I want to try any time soon. My suspicion is that I would lose my job in short order. I guess it goes back to the old adage, "If you don't use it, you'll lose it". Same can be said, I believe, for running and, more personally, barefoot running.

I do skip running on some days. Most recently, I missed running 6 out of 11 days that we traveled to Prague. There were just days during the trip where it was possible to run, but not expedient or necessary since we were doing so much walking and sightseeing. Previous to this trip, however, I ran over 300 days without missing a running day. Rather than just a statement of discipline, I prefer to also call it a profession of love for my life hobby, barefoot running. When you are in love with something, or have a passion for something in your life, then you wish to either be doing that thing or at least talking to others about it.

In the same way that I love my wife, my family, and my barefoot running, I also continue to grow in my love for the Lord Jesus Christ. If I am not talking to the Lord in prayer, I enjoy very much talking or writing about the greatness of His redemption in my life. As Solomon stated in Ecclesiastes, the end of a thing is better than its beginning. I guess that is because we all get the opportunity to shape ourselves by our experiences day after day as we journey. Whether it is running, our respective relationships with God, or whatever the life event may be, the journey allows us the opportunity for a favorable ending by the day to day culmination of possibilities and results.

Having a Blessed Barefoot Blast!

Barefoot Rick

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