How does running really enrich your prayer life and make you a better follower of Christ? it trains the mind and teaches the will to focus on the task at hand. It demands dedication, commitment, stamina, consistency in a daily renewal and of course one's time. good runners are able to remain faithful and fully engaged at the task at hand. Christians likewise are taught to resist temptation to flee from it; to be delivered. Both running events and christian living does not seek a multitasker who fits running or religious life into what's left. It requires one who is completely present with the task at hand. An overall perspective on what's expected. It's why runners think about nutrition and their next training session the other 23 hours in a day. The commitment is complete and extends beyond the run. Additionally a dedicated christian is consumed with the details of christian living, fasting, love kindness and acts of charity beyond the confines of the Divine Liturgy.
Running puts the focus into my life like nothing else. it is a lightening rod against which and in I find my direction and read my compass. sometimes I consider the state of my life. and many more times then not, i am grateful and loving it. there are those times when I am less productive generally that I wonder what am I running for: what do I hope to accomplish and can my time be better spent? and no... my time spent in motion running can not be better spent it is good medicine. alone time, in the presence of my God, or at a minimum a time when i can't escape 'continuous me time'. Don't get me wrong the run is not all prayer and hymns. I would be hard pressed to get through a run without some Santana playing. Or me replaying a scenario in my 'thoughtful spot' to work through an issue or feeling.
Remaining on task is difficult even for most pleasantly rewarding task. Distraction is one of the greatest tools of the enemy. Do not take your eyes off the prize a crown of glory. like a cat on the hunt don't take your eyes off the mouse it requires concentration, patience, and more patience. The agility of the mind and body to move in an instant but only for the prize. to remain silent and for the mind to move slowly. Running reminds me of what I need to focus on. At times its speed and how much my lungs burn and at other times amazement that I push through barriers. Sometimes its time barriers and other times the barriers of temptation.
I have exceeded the expectations of my parents and i have proved my temperament useful. I have a place to maximize my bold character without having to temper it. While running determination not stubbornness is what harnesses the energy. then there are those runs to clear my thoughts and get some alone time with God and my running reminds me to get back on task to see everything as a path back to God; a way back. The tenacity to remain a faithful orthodox christian is the same which gets me off the couch to run. It curbs my religious pride and clarifies words like love, forgiveness, acceptance and justice. It takes to heart the higher Christian standard that we are called to. It is a consistent environment and setting in which i look inward to the Kingdom that is within.