Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Marathon Reflections

Last Sunday I ran a marathon.  I have been leading up to this event for nearly 10 years in my my body, the last 5 months.  As I look back on the experience there are a lot of things that come to my mind: the time, energy, effort, support, encouragement, injuries, aches and pains, doubts, fretting, anticipation, questions, wonder, fear, exhilaration, fatigue, hydration, nutrition, all seemed to occupy my thoughts and time.  There is a part of me that is questioning all this and asking: "was this worth it?"  There have been many lessons learned from this experience and some personal growth points discovered as a result of all the time and effort.  For me, the most important discovery and life lesson is the significance of mental preparation.  I had heard that 90% of running long distances was mental but I hadn't experienced that as much as I did in the preparation and actual running of the marathon.  Don't get me wrong, there is much to be said about the physical preparedness of running a marathon.  But what I'm taking away from this experience is the importance of having my mind focused and ready.  

What continually amazes me is how the Bible points out things that I discover sometimes the hard way and in some respects, after the fact.  The Bible has many verses that point out the value of the mind and the focus of the mind being on God.  I have to ask myself the question:  What or who am I allowing shape my mind?  Hmmmmm, I don't think I want to answer that but am coming to realize the importance allowing God to renew my mind day by day.  Now, the good news is you don't have to run a marathon to find this out.  However, we all in a marathon called life.

For what it's worth,


P.S. The jury is still out on whether I'll run another marathon!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"A Watched Pot...."

My mom used to tell me: "Marty, a watched pot never boils."  As a young boy, I just accepted this age old saying as truth!  There must be some magic in putting a pot of water on the stove, walking away, and then it boils.  It wasn't until I was older I realized: that's not true. I could put a pot of water on the stove and in a matter of minutes the water would be in a rolling boil.  However, it seemed like a lifetime for the water to boil and the process of watching water before it boiled was agony.

Ever have something you've anticipated and time seems to lag?  For me, it's every time Natalie makes the trip from the U.S. to Australia.  The countdown begins about 30 days out until the eventful day arrives when we pick her up at the airport.  Right now, we are about 36 hours away from the hugs, kisses, and the lugging of her bags to the car.  Then, once home, the meal of the day is her favorite: Tuna Noodle Casserole or Tuna Mon ea for the Australians.  Part of the waiting involves a whimsical wish that Tuna would be outlawed by the Australian government in the next few hours!   Anyway, my point is this...waiting and anticipating can be either agony or a process of living life with something to look forward too!  For this dad, I choose the eager anticipation over the agony of the wait.  I'm eagerly anticipating the moment I see Natalie's smiling face.  I'm not watching a pot of water to boil, just a clock to tic away the hours.  In the meantime, I think I'll send off my petition to the Aussie government for that Tuna ban!!!