More Ambassador Stuff
Well, for the non-religious types I advise you not to read any further. This rambling will be rife with scripture and how I see barefoot running, barefoot living, etc. and the correlation. Yes, I am about to wax philosophical. By the way, did you know that it talks about "waxing" in the Bible? Don't know if John the Baptist was doing floors or possibly his goat cart but it mentions that "JB waxed strong in the presence of the Lord". I know, that was bad but I write it unapologetically.
One of my favorite scriptures in the Proverbs is "What is desirable in a man (or woman, my insertion) is kindness". In my previous post about practicing "fun", I failed to mention the law of reciprocity and how that one single dynamic can change a person from a grump to a "Living Gump". Through my nearly 50 years of living, I see that consistently people are looking for people of consistency. If one says they're a barefoot runner and that their running has improved their running and their outlook on running, then they should have the "fruits" to show for it. Not only should they show improvement, physically, but emotionally and spiritually, also. The last time I checked, oak trees were still producing acorns and apple trees, apples. If a person says that they are "having a blast" or "having fun" barefoot running and living, then it should show. Everything in degree, folks. I'm not saying that we should all of a sudden be this bastion of joy, kindness, and congeniality. However, I think it is important to be moving toward this.
The longer I run barefoot (and live barefoot for that matter) the stronger my conviction becomes that what we are doing is something truly spiritual. At Boston this year, I had an experience that shook me which showed me my "dark side". I didn't like it. Ken and I were running, I'm thinking about at mile 17 or 18. We were coming up at a water stop and runners were stopping in their tracks to get their cups of water. Well, I nearly ran into a handful of them and I started cussing profusely, "Why do these f.... people do this?" I turned to Ken, embarrassingly, and said I guess I lost my serenity. That had a huge impact on me to behave that way in front of Ken, someone who I respect for his mellow temperament.
If I say that I am a barefoot runner and I want to regain some of that primal reconnection to the earth, who is to say that I am not actually reconnecting with something very spiritual within or without myself. Some of you may be Pantheists, which is your belief that God
is all around us in everything. I choose to believe that but I also believe that God has a particular what you might call a GPS location (if that's possible). Sometimes, I just need to find where God is, which is living inside me. Sometimes, I may just need to connect with God in you.
I'm definitely rambling. Back to kindness. Jesus told us to "Give and to expect nothing in return". I get bummed out when there are not enough people on my runs that I can interact with. I have not got to that altruistic place of "expecting nothing in return". Really, I like the "feel goods" I get from giving. Maybe one of these days it will become so much a part of me to give that I won't even look for the reward. (I think I am still a LONG way from that point!) The question is, however, should I discontinue giving since my motive is tainted? This is one of those times, IMHO, that I should "fake it 'til I make it". I'm sure God would rather have giving continue, even with tainted motives, rather than not at all.
Spreading random acts of kindness. What a great aspiration! With added exposure and recognizability as our respective towns' barefoot runners, the accountability grows to do be good ambassadors. Imagine, if more folks were daily "paying it forward" ... what would our world look like in a very short time?
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