Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Big Four-Oh: 1,077 miles!

Today is my fortieth birthday! I was born March 31, 1969. That is four decades on this planet! What strikes me most about today is where I am in life. I am pleased with it. Why? The only thing I can think of is Psalm 40 from the Bible. THE MESSAGE words verses 1-3 this way:

"I waited and waited and waited for God.
At last he looked; finally he listened.
He lifted me out of the ditch,
pulled me from deep mud.
He stood me up on a solid rock
to make sure I wouldn't slip.
He taught me how to sing the latest God-song,
a praise song to our God.
More and more people are seeing this:
they enter the mystery,
abandoning themselves to God."

That is me. I feel God himself pulled me out of the ditch and rescued me. I feel so lucky to be living the lifestyle I am living today on my fortieth birthday. I am so happy that I have spent 16 of those 40 years with Chrisy. I am proud of that fact as we have built something that is valuable and lovely. I have four wonderful children who love me. As evidenced by this overwhelmingly joyful weekend that just passed, I also have a plethora of great friends. I am blessed.
Last year on March 31, 2008, I actually made a vow to myself. Nobody knew about it except God and me. I said, "The 365 days between my thirty-ninth and fortieth birthdays will be the healthiest year of my life." I meant that in the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical sense. I really prayed a lot that God would grow me in all four of those realms. I think he did.
The aspect that is easiest to measure is the physical as I chose to gauge it with running. Since I said it was the days "in between" my birthdays, I will not count any run that I might do tonight. That said, I am looking at my running log for April 1, 2008 to March 30, 2009 and I have logged 1,077 miles of running during that time. That is an average of 89 miles per month. I actually went out for 213 runs during that time. The average distance of those runs was 5 miles per run. My average pace has been 8.01 minutes per mile. I feel really good about this accomplishment.
A wise counselor I once had told me that it took about 60 times of doing something to make it an actual "habit" in life. I honestly never knew if I could consistantly stick with running over a long period of time like that. I am happy that, over the last year, I have developed this habit of running because I honestly feel like it has helped me to usher in this next decade of my life feeling very vibrant. In fifteen days I will be at a Springsteen concert and I'm certain he will pose his famous question: "Is anybody alive out there?" I will answer with a resounding, "Yes, I am!"
Today I take credit for nothing. I thank God that he taught me to sing his song. It is a trip how abandoning yourself to God leads to abundant life. It is indeed a mystery that surrender leads to freedom. I am happy.

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Every time I got out for my run
I pass by an old oak tree
It's been abandoned
left alone to fend for itself
mangled and worn
yet full of fortitude and strength
it reminds me of me
a great creation clinging to
the side of the ravine
displaying its ruthless trust
dependent upon no one
but God as it patiently
awaits the next storm
only then able to soak in
refreshing rain
running down its trunk
like affirmation from a
trusted lover
as I pass by trudging through
its wildflower neighbors
I know I make the tree truly
happy: all it desires is
oh, how, I adore the out-and-back