Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Journey v.s.Destination

I always thought that I was a destination driven person. Of course each of us are journeymen in this life enroute to the Promised Land where there is neither pain nor sorrow.  God's Grace has provided any and all hope to navigate the storm and make passage to the safe harbor. All hope of finding our way  is contingent on our willingness to engage with God and His Divine Revelation through a robust prayer life and the medicine offered us through Mysteria of  the Church. "It is not one's own efforts which lead to the goal, because without grace, efforts produce little. Nor does grace without effort bring what is sought, because grace acts in us and for us through our efforts." St. Theophan the Recluse

This past weekend I realized that I may not actually be a destination driven individual but a journeyman. During my marathon I realized that I don't like racing (to use the term very loosely). I have only ever enjoyed one organized event in 2005 which is why I almost never enter a road race. I'm not complaining about the team of volunteers or the traffic control or the enthusiasm from the crowds rather I resist what they seem to assert about the runner. It is true that it can be a helpful tool an objective assessment but of what actually?
Training is driven by the desire to go in and connect with God. Training provides the structure to engage the mind, body and soul in a consistent format. Running road races seems to cheapen the effort. It seems tht event running is more concerned with bragging rights then with the deeper matters of self and spiritual intergration.
The relaxed circumstance of training runs are wholly personal, relaxed and non judgmental. Once I start adding divisions and finishing times the fun and joy is sucked right out and running starts to be invaded by the status and economy of the rest of life. Judgment and ridicule abound in so many aspects of our life that it seems sad to sacrifice the sanctuary and respit of my runs for something as silly as a medal.
Performance based assessments tools like road races and events award accolades based simply on finishing times which are determined largely  by genetics, opportunity and training. I admire the grace and beauty of athletes who are blessed with the genetic genenius and the brilliance which shines from their hard work. It is wonderful to watch and is inspiring. I choose to look through a different prism one which gives promise and rewards my intent when paired with diligence. Even the ordinary can do extraordinary feats when engaged with God's Grace.
So to wind up this blog entry I know there are those  motivated by the arrival on the scene and others like myself who are more about the journey. Of course when the road to the destination presents challenges we all wish we could just get there already and just move the mountain.

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