A Road Map for CHANGE – PATH TO LIFE SUCCESS
A highlight of my run last evening and today was recognizing that ‘Running’ can be and is ‘A Road Map for CHANGE’ both in our physical and spiritual lives. Mr. George Leonard in ‘The Ultimate Athlete’ notes that running is the essence of most sports played on dry land. Soccer, baseball, football, basketball, rugby, field-hockey, cricket, frisbee and various forms of tag all have their essence in running. When one strips most land sports of all the rules that give them their separate characteristics, the essence remains, and the essence is running. Running is a journey which helps us discover that our body is a marvelous thing but it also is a simple form of exercise!
- Recognize that your spiritual life is a journey!
“And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Philippians 1:6
Dr. George Sheehan is the man credited with triggering philosophical reflection about running. In his book, ‘On Running’, Dr. Sheehan speaks of how the body mirrors the soul and the mind. Therefore, it makes good sense to become proficient at listening to one’s body in order that one might eventually hear from one’s totality – from the complex, unique person that one is. Running is important in my life because it has allowed me to discover that as one completes oneself physically, it benefits one totally. It allows for one to remain focused on the destination.
- Set your sights on the destination!
“And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
There are some creative and fun approaches to running. The New Age approach to sports in certain areas deemphasizes competitive tendencies and invites the participant to enjoy the experience itself rather than just focusing on ‘getting there’. In an article entitled “Creative Running: Tips from a New Age Coach”, running is approached as an activity filled with fun and imagination-play. For example, when running up a hill imagine there is a giant hand pushing you from behind or let the wind gently push you along, and the sun fill your body with soft, golden energy.
- Ask God for help with your Road Blocks!
“…let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” 2 Corinthians 7:1
It has now been abundantly verified by numerous studies that runners are more likely than other athletes to experience striking psychological alterations. Excellent evidence from over 40 studies suggests that running itself contributes to mental health. These studies focusing on exercise and personality, exercise and mental health, exercise and intelligence and other aspects of human psychology suggest that running and exercise affect us deeply.
The precise mechanisms by which running affects us so deeply have become more understood. There are several conclusions: a) the changes result from an elevated body temperature or an increase in the brain’s blood supply; b) the changes are brought on by running’s repetitive rhythms which are almost hypnotic in nature; c) the changes result from the natural release of morphine-like chemicals called endorphins or from a natural stimulant called norepinephrine.
The bottom line is that running makes for more happy, fulfilled people. For a great many people who are exploring their potential, trying to become more fully what they are, running is instrumental in bringing new and fuller life, a higher level of wellness. As such, it is assisting them in realizing their human and spiritual aim.
This brings me to the last two stages of the “Road MAP for Change”:
- Learn how to Refuel! Have to be refueled everyday!
“He renews my strength. He guides me long right paths…” Psalm 23:3
- Pause along the way to Celebrate the progress.
“O Lord my God, You have done many miracles for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.” Psalm 40.5
WE BELIEVE IN YOUR DREAMS
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