I’m still waiting, so why not run a half marathon?

I am still waiting. I can’t say that the last three weeks have been easy. Some days I have felt very much like my previous post, taking delight in the blessings; there have been other days, however, when I have felt most anxious. Someday I may unpack this time of waiting, and find important lessons. But right now I just really want to step into a plane, make my series of flights, emerge on Indonesian soil, and get to work.

In these three weeks, there hasn’t been much to do or to write about. Prior to February, I packed away belongings, mentally prepared to leave, and assembled most items to pack. Without a visa or a final date of departure, everything is on hold.

I was out running last Thursday, and it dawned on me that there was a half marathon race in town on Sunday. At the end of my run, I resolved to do it. Even though none of my recent runs came close to the 13.1 mile distance, and the race was only three days away, I had to do it. I knew I could do it, and I did it; one foot in front of the other, stride by stride, mile by mile.

I’m no stranger to distance running—I’ve run multiple marathons and half marathons, so I knew what I was getting into when I signed up. Long distance races are a physical challenge for sure, but the race is also a mental challenge to find the courage to keep on going, and for me, they a profound spiritual experience. My pounding feet on the pavement become a rhythmic psalm of the body; the labored breath of latter miles inhales new life, and exhales pain; the finish line, also the beginning, is an expression of deep joy and gratitude to God for this life.

It is Sunday evening now; I’m a little sore but spiritually centered, ready to enter into the week, whatever it will bring.

By the way, I’m prone to plan vacation time around races. You may see a future post about a marathon/half/10k in places such as Bali, East Timor, Malaysia, Singapore, or Thailand. This is, of course, if my body adjusts to the climate and I have time and space to run.

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