This book is the story of a personal spiritual journey that happens to be anchored in running. While running is a great way of life, there are deeper issues that affect us all. The metaphor of running creates a great tool to help us understand how to better appreciate our family, and grow in our faith."I first started running in the summer of 1978 to win the heart of a girl, but instead, I found God. He chose running to be one of the the places he revealed himself to me. Through my time alone, on my feet, the God of my parents and my grandparents became my God. It was on the road and on the trail that my relationship with God became personal. We developed a friendship which grew bigger than church and became deeper than rules of behavior."
Read a sample from Running With God ...
Prologue: I Finally Got To Use My I.D.
It was almost sundown, and I’d been running along the Animas River Trail in Farmington, New Mexico for about an hour. I was almost back to my hotel when I realized the room key I’d held in my hand for all those miles wasn’t a room key at all but actually the key to my rental car. I had picked up the wrong key by mistake when I left the room. Bummer. How would I get back into my room?
I entered the hotel lobby and approached the front desk. I’ve learned that if you walk through a hotel lobby after an hour-long run, and if you sweat like I do, people will usually step aside and let you pass to the front of the line. I asked the young desk clerk for another room key and she said, “Do you have any form of identification?”
What a great question: Do I have any form of identification? I have been searching my whole life to answer that question. Who am I? How did I get here? Why am I wearing running shoes? Do I have any I.D.?
I am continually amazed that among my circle of friends, I am considered the “workout guy.” No one would have predicted that distinction for me during the first 20 years of my life. Up until that time, I had shown absolutely no evidence of being an athlete in desire, temperament, or ability.
I first started running in the summer of 1978 to win the heart of a girl, but instead, I found God. He chose running to be one of the places he revealed himself to me. Through my time alone, on my feet, the God of my parents and my grandparents became my God. It was on the road and on the trail that my relationship with God became personal. We developed a friendship which grew bigger than church and became deeper than rules of behavior.
In fact, I have always been a believer. I was enrolled in our local church as a newborn, even before I left the hospital. I have believed Jesus as long as I have memory of anything; I have known no other life. Even in my hippie years, such as they were, I didn’t rebel against the religious part of my upbringing. And in college, when no one goes to church, I attended some form of worship two or three times a week. Through the years something continued to pull me in deeper, keeping me from resting on my religious pedigree, transforming me into a lifelong searcher. I have been searching for God all my life; the more of him I discover, the more I search.
Through the years I’ve had friends who were inspired by one of my essays to go out and run. “I didn’t find God,” they said. “I just got tired and sore.”
“Just stay at it,” I’d tell them. “It may take you 1,000 miles.” The secret was never the running, but about my lifelong search for God. Who knows where God will show up if you search for him? You could find him anywhere, but don’t be surprised if it happens on a dirt trail or in a marathon.
But I have gone off-topic … the young lady was asking about my I.D. There in that Holiday Inn in Farmington, I finally got to use the ID tag I had worn on my left running shoe for the past 15 years. I had been waiting for this moment for such a long time.
I wasn’t limber enough to put my foot up on the desk, so I pulled off my left shoe and held it out to the desk clerk so she could read the ID tag. She was stunned. Maybe it was from being so close to my stinky shoe, or maybe from the surprise that I did indeed have an ID - I don’t know. As I walked away with a new room key, the other clerks were giggling behind my back. I didn’t care. I just knew I would use that ID someday.