Running for the Kingdom
For a little over a month now I have been running, so far I have logged 72 miles. During these runs I always find myself praying, without fail it always happens. I also can’t help but to contemplate the similarities between running and the spiritual journey that we are all on.
During all of this I have also been drawn to the philosophy of one particular runner, Steve Prefontaine or just “Pre.” Steve was not a theologian, he surely wasn’t a saint, I don’t know if he even believed in God. But surprisingly, something else Pre didn’t believe in was natural “talent.” Steve believed that every person who had a body, also had the potential to become a great athlete. He believed that to fulfill this potential that body had to go hard all the time. From the begging of a race to the end. I think Steve would agree that it would be dishonorable to hold back during the beginning of a race so that one could finish strong. I think that this philosophy is the foundation of Saintly Theology.
I believe that every person who has a Soul, has the potential to be a Saint. Just to be clear when I say Saint I am speaking of holiness. This is the race that every human is on, whether or not they recognize it. And the temptation that is laid before us in this race is to try and pace ourselves so we reach the goal even if it is just by a small margin. It is easy to say “Well I will follow Christ tomorrow”, or “I will give a little to Christ today but I can’t give him everything.” “I will live a ‘good’ life and most likely I will be with God for eternity, but I don’t need to be a Saint, right?” Wrong! We have to set a suicide pace, from begining to end. This forces us to die to ourselves and to rely solely on Christ. This is the only way to become a Saint, right? To become truly pure and Holy we have to give everything we have to Christ, holding nothing back, as soon as the choice is made to be His disciple.
I have started running this race towards the Kingdom, and I have always held something back. This must change! I am training myself and learning how to give my all to Him. I desire nothing more than to become one of His beloved Saints. I know He will carry me to the finishline, but I have to give him my best with every step.
One last thought. What Steve’s opponents hated most about him was that by setting an extremely fast pace at the beginning of a race all the other runners were literally forced to increase their own pace if they wanted any chance at winning. When each of us makes that commitment not only to run the spiritual race towards God, but also to run it at that “suicide pace” from beginning to end, it is inevitable that other runners will begin to run with us and more Saints will undoubtedly be born.
God, please give us the grace needed to become Saints. Amen.
“The best pace is a suicide pace, and today seems like a good day to die.” ~ Steve Prefontaine