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.