A higher perspective of running

My focus began to shift away from the physical aspects of running and toward its spiritual qualities.

Ever since I was a child, I have loved to run. Through middle and high school, I ran on teams for cross country and track, and now, as an adult, I continue to run regularly and compete in races. While I enjoy healthy competition, pushing limits, and tracking my workout progress—over time, these runs have become less about how fast my body is moving and more about my spiritual growth.

A few years ago, after finishing a run around a lake in my hometown, I sat down by the water’s edge to stretch. I noticed a lot of buoys along the shore that were apparently arranged in no particular order. “What are those for?” I wondered, not able to make any sense of it. A few minutes later I climbed to the top of the nearby bleachers to take in the view of the lake and noticed the buoys again. I was surprised to see that they were actually arranged in perfectly parallel lines, creating lanes for a boat race. The contrast between the first and second times I observed the buoys was striking. At first I couldn’t believe I was looking at the same part of the lake, but then it was clear that they were the same twenty or so floating markers in the exact same places. The only thing that had changed was my perspective.

When I was sitting on the shoreline looking at the buoys up close, I couldn’t perceive any order or purpose in how they were arranged; it appeared to be purely random. But that was just my limited viewpoint, which turned out to be deceptive. When I improved my understanding of what was going on by looking from a higher angle, the design and usefulness were clear.

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September 4, 2023

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