Posted tagged ‘mile run’

The Last Sprint

June 30, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                  June 30, 2013

 

The Last Sprint”

 

Back in high school and college I was a distance runner…one mile, two mile, and the hardest race of all the half-mile. As a miler I had a very good kick at the end of the face. If I could be close to the other runner, or even ahead, with 300 yards to go I knew I had a good chance to win. The last sprint had the finish line in sight and I was usually able to put it in a different gear.

This last month I’ve written a “Words From W.W.” each day. June 1 started with the challenge, filled with anticipation, but also a little anxiety…kind of like the beginning of the mile run. It proceeded through the first week. I established a kind of  “expected pace.” If I needed to write a post in the evening the TV was off and the headphones on. There were a few days where the energy level was low…and as a result, probably the quality of the writing.

But I stayed with it. Some of you gave me ideas for blog postings. Some had questions that they wanted some words of wisdom about, or at least, words from WW.

The last week of the month was spent in the Dominican Republic as part of a mission team. Usually the biggest hurdle in terms of that was to try to take one happening from the day and write about it. I could write a book about the experience…literally!

And now today is Day 30 of 30, the final sprint.

Some people ask me why I do it, why I write? After all, people are more visual now. Newsweek bit the dust in terms of hard copy. The Gazette newspaper is almost small enough to be a newsletter now. So, why write?

It’s a hard question for me to answer. I think I write because it makes me think and ponder. In terms of my spiritual journey, without sounding arrogant, I grow the most as I write. My blog might be my version of journaling, although I never really liked doing that in the usual way people think of. As I write I slow down to meet God. I hope…I pray…that his hand is guiding my fingers over the keys of my laptop, that when I’m struggling for a word he draws it out of me. That when something doesn’t feel right he takes me to the delete key and begins me again.

So now I come to the end of a month. Perhaps someone has heard some words in a way that has made them think, or laugh, or even cry. I think of the Apostle Paul as he was closing his second letter to his young charge Timothy. He wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

The last sprint.

I’m not seeing this as a final post, but it is the final stretching for the finish of this race. As July enters I’ll look to write more, perhaps more than one day in a row, but I’ll also give the reading eyes of those who have taken the time to ponder brief breaks from the “Words.”

Thanks to all who have encouraged and told me to keep pressing on. Time to cross the line and take a warm-down lap.

Running The Mile Twenty Days In

June 20, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                      June 20, 2013

 

Today is my twentieth day in a row of writing a post for my blog, Words from W.W. I wish that I could say that I’ve found my groove, but the life of a pastor has no groove. The last four nights have found me in four different locations for either meetings or group activities. Carol and I had dinner last night at 8:30. Tonight we had to eat separately.

The only consistency so far in my thirty day writing challenge is that I’ve written each day. Diana Stucky, my administrative assistant, has been great in sending my words out to our congregation. Sometimes she gets the article in the late morning (Seldom!), and sometimes she gets the words in the evening (Often!).

Day 20 means I’m two-thirds of the way. The last week will be a challenge in that I will be in the Dominican Republic, but I’m hopeful that I can post something about our mission experience there each day.

Two-thirds of the way is the point of commitment. If you quit now everyone will wonder what your problem is. They will just shake their heads in a kind of pitiful disgust at your inability to finish anything.

I was a miler back in high school. Lap three was the hardest lap of the four lap race. Lap three was about guts and not feeling sorry for yourself. As a runner I could tell if an opposing runner was beat by the facial expression during the third lap. If his look said “Somebody feel sorry for me”, or he seemed to be looking for his mommy, the race was over.

The third quarter mile was about maintaining a fast pace when your legs feel like jelly.

It seems that there are a lot of sprinters in life trying to run a mile. What I mean is they burn themselves out in the first few moments of an important leg of their life journey. There’s a beginning sense of excitement and exhilaration about this new venture, or pursuit of a new calling, or launching of a new idea.

And then a few strides into the journey reality hits that this is not going to be the piece of cake that the person thought it was going to be. Sprinters are about cake. Milers are about oatmeal (I’m not sure where that came from! It just came out of my mouth.)

The Christian journey is a long-distance run that takes in beautiful landscapes, but also desolate desert. It’s easy to sprint in front of the beginning cheering masses, but commitment is required to get you through the periods of aloneness and depression.

The third lap is when people take a hike and never come back, but it’s also when the committed stays the course.