Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones. Proverbs 15:30
We all love good news. I also believe that the bible is the handbook for life and that anything we can understand or gleam from the bible to apply to our own lives should so be done. That has not always been the case for me and I have asked God and the Lord Jesus for forgiveness of my sins. I also believe in the purity of the bible, the doctrine as written and the significance of such. Applying the Word is what brings us into alignment with God through Jesus.
So, as this blog is about running, I shall tell you my good news and the gift God has given me. I have been humbled by His grace on my mind and body. Over the last 15-20 years, I have run nearly 25,000 miles give or take a few thousand, in essence, the circumference of the Earth, hundreds of organized races, nearly 100 marathons & beyond and through it all have stayed healthy (maybe because of it.) Since September and the challenges of Kaua'i, I have been experiencing pain and fatigue in both knees along with some hip pain. I have felt downright dogged. I have kept running my weekly miles, another marathon and two half-marathons but they have all been struggles.
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31I finally decided to have my knees and hip checked by a Doctor who focuses on non-surgical treatments for joint issues and who has traveled with the Duke University football and basketball teams as one of their Doctor's. It takes a lot for me to see a Doctor but at the very least he could tell me if any damage has been done from all the running over the years. In my entire life, besides the dentist, I think I have only had x-rays taken once and that turned out to be a problem with new running shoes. I have always been a very active person, played football and ran track in high school and still never had an x-ray. We also know the naysayers of running that we will destroy our knees and bodies by the impact. Obviously, sometimes this happens so I guess it was time to determine if it happened to me.
The good news is... The Doctor said that he saw no signs of wear and tear on my knees or hip, no fluid, nothing floating, maybe a little arthritis under one kneecap but nothing of concern. Likely, it is overuse and runners knee with some inflammation around the kneecap and maybe a little tracking issue. I was relieved. It put a big smile on my face and I said, that is good news! I can deal with basic running issues and overuse. I believe underuse causes more problems than overuse. So, I have started a little physical therapy to learn some proper stretching techniques and some ways to help build core muscles and strength around the hips and knees.
Overuse? Hah! I laugh in the face of overuse, in a humble way of course as I know that God is in control and He will determine my path.
This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16, 18-19
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11I know many folks will feel it is trivial to apply such powerful verses in the context of running. Running is me and without it, life and I would not be the same. Wherever I find my strength it is important that I do. Truly, that is what the bible is for, to find our strength in today's life and eternal life. On every run I talk with God, first thanking him, then praying for others and our world, and then a little chit-chatting.
This week, I also had a very humbling experience volunteering at the Shepherd's Table Soup Kitchen in Raleigh helping prepare and serve lunch to over 250 homeless, working poor and frankly anyone who needed a hot meal. As a work group from the company I work for, we volunteered our time and the company was gracious to give us that time off. There is a running quote that says " If you want to run, run a mile, if you want to experience a different life, run a marathon." Emil Zopatek. I now believe the same can be said for volunteering. "If you want to donate, donate, but if you want to experience a different life, volunteer." Although I have donated to many charities throughout the years, this was my first volunteering experience. It humbled me and those receiving were very gracious and thankful.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:8
It's the good news that we all want to hear, but even when we don't (because it will happen), the bible is still our source for the true good news.