Drink the Wine, Eat the Cake

Meditations in Motion

I am up to my neck in marathon training. Oh, I have vowed that I would never do another marathon many times, usually immediately following each marathon. I really do enjoy trail races more than road races these days. I love the laid-back atmosphere, the bounty at each aid station, the mud, and the wacky, never-say-die attitude of trail racers. And yet…here I am, training for another road marathon.

Meditations in Motion

I did my requisite long run today. My first really long one. I don’t run with music anymore. There are a few reasons for that – I want to be aware of my surroundings and my interior conversation is usually amusing enough to keep me entertained. I was running on a bike path to avoid traffic and thinking about the political situation in our country. Ugh! When that got too depressing, I asked myself a question I care deeply about: What does it mean to be holy?

Meditations in Motion

The answer to the question seems to depend on whether you research the Hebrew word for holy, qadash, or the Greek word, hagios. Qadash means “set apart“, as when we set aside land for a cemetery, it is sanctified, consecrated. Hagios refers to something that is pure and faultless. To combine these two definitions, we could say that if something is holy, it is pure and set apart from the commonplace.

Marilynne Robinson, the author of Gilead, says “Love is holy because it is like grace–the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.” Yes, love is holy.

This is not the Hollywood, running-on-the-beach breathless kind of love. This is the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians, patient and kind, not envious, boastful or proud. This is the kind of love where you let your loved one (wife) have the last toasted coconut brownie because it will make you happier to see him/her (her) eat it than to eat it yourself. (Totally fictitious example!)

Meditations in Motion

When I was a young girl, I went on a cruise with my family. I loved to stand at the rail on the deck of the ship and watch the vast sea slide by. The thought occurred to me that if I should fall off the boat, no one would ever be able to find me in the immensity of the ocean. I innocently asked my father what he would do if I should fall overboard. Without hesitation, he responded, “I would jump in after you.” I think that was the first time I ever got an inkling of how strong, pure and holy a parent’s love is. I was amazed that my father would unquestioningly put himself at such peril for me. (Although, when I pictured the scenario, he did grab a life preserver for each of us as he jumped after me.)

I may question whether I am worthy of such love. What did I ever do to deserve this incredible blessing? But, as Ms. Robinson writes, worthiness is beside the point. I did nothing to deserve grace, either, and yet, for some mysterious, unknowable and happy reason, it is mine. Love and grace are both set apart, holy and pure.

Meditations in Motion

Lailah Gifty Akita, an author from Ghana, writes “Is there any greater miracle than this holy moment?” Lailah is not a theologian. She is a scientist. Her Ph.D. is in Geosciences. Geologists know time; it is their stock in trade. God belongs to the eternal. Humans belong to time and are therefore estranged from God. Holiness is the bridge that links the two.

Meditations in Motion

This improbable, but eminently real, moment is holy. Time is what we are given. Time and love; it is all that we are given and it is more than enough, abundantly so. All of our needs are met, but not necessarily in the way we expect. Christ told his followers “I do not give to you as the world gives.

If time is what we are given, use the gift. Spend your time. Live your life. Drink the wine, kiss the babies, eat the cake, make some whoopee. It would be disrespectful not to. This moment is holy.

Meditations in Motion

Here is the thing about trail running – when I run on trails, I never run alone, so my interior monologue does not flow freely. As my running buddies will tell you, I am a talker. If I need to concentrate on my footing and do not talk, my thoughts tend to be something like “OK, put your left foot beside the rock…now lift your right foot over the root…avoid the puddle or plow right…alright, plow right through…oooh what kind of bird do I hear calling?” It’s a stream of consciousness babble. I am not thinking about important things, like holiness. For that alone, marathon training with its attendant long runs is worth it. Maybe I will sign up for another one.

 

I am linking with Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays link up. I am linking up with Debbie at Dare 2 Hear. Check out the inspirational posts on her Tune in Thursdays. I am linking up with Penny’s Passion for Thinking Out Loud Thursday. I am linking up with Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well. If you like this post, you may want to visit to read what other bloggers have to say! Also linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday 5.  If you like running and fitness blogs, check them out here! I am linking up with Go Outside Girl for High 5 for Friday. I am linking up with Jamie Sumner for Sunday Thoughts. Visit here for faith-based posts from many other bloggers. I am linking up with blovedboston for Weekending. I am linking up with Shank You Very Much for her Dream Team link up and her Global Blogging link up. I am linking up with Clean East Fast Feets for her Week in Review. Check it out for some more great reads (including some very yummy recipes!) I am linking up with Teaching What Is Good for their Tuesday Link-up. Visit here for inspirational posts from many other bloggers. I am linking up with Char at Trekking Thru. Check out some moving inspirational blogs here.

 

 

 

 

 

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75 comments

  1. Loved every word of this post–and I’m glad you don’t have music playing when you run, especially if you are on the road. Those twisty Pennsylvania roads look treacherous for pedestrians.
    And that Marilynne Robinson quote is just lovely. I’m reminded to be thankful for the love (and grace) of God and so many others who love me even though I don’t deserve it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I do not drink but I love my cake! Good luck on the marathon! I ran one in 2014 and finished! I will never do another – only unlike you I mean it! I honestly thought I was going to die those last two miles! Cherish every moment…thanks for the reminder! I am now following you – you can follow back if you wish at Annster’s Domain

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cake is good! Thank you for the good wishes. My experience with a marathon is: never say never, but maybe you are stronger than I and will resist the temptation to sign up for another one. I followed you!

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  3. “Holiness is the bridge that links the two.” That is a thought I want to keep in a pocket over my heart. If it takes running a marathon for you to come up with such inspiration, then I say keep on training. Meanwhile I will be eating the cake and drinking the wine 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do love your random ramblings…this is exactly what it’s like to be in my head on a long run! What marathon are you considering? I am pretty sure that I’m done with that distance. The training is just daunting at this point in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am actually doing 2 marathons – Tunnel of Light in Washington state in August and Marine Corps in October. I have a friend who keeps asking me to sign up. Darn peer pressure! 🙂

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  5. Time is what we are given. What a lovely and profound thought. I know its wrong but I often run on trails alone. I find the solitude irresistible. And they’re mostly flat enough that my mine can wander and ponder.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I often wonder if I will ever run another marathon!

    I have grown to love running trails, like really wooded trails and I’ve found myself taking my earbuds out when I run here. Listening to the sounds of nature are so much more calming than listening to music! Plus it lets me be alone with my own thoughts, which sometimes get turned into blog posts!

    Good luck with your training.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love all your “holy things” thoughts. I am not into political discourse, so those thoughts are usually few and far between for me LOL I have started doing my shorter runs (2-3 miles) without music, so my mind can wander and do its own thing. It’s kind of a refreshing experience 😉

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  8. I usually run alone and don’t listen to music…although sometimes I will listen to a podcast. The thoughts in my head are definitely entertaining enough to get me through a run!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This is so profound, Laurie! I love how you connected love and holibess. I’ve never thought of it thst way. I’m going to be thinking about this this week. And I love the story about your dad. A very special memory. Thanks for sharing! (Mom Gene link up).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. LAURIE! I love this so much: “If time is what we are given, use the gift. Spend your time. Live your life. Drink the wine, kiss the babies, eat the cake, make some whoopee. It would be disrespectful not to. This moment is holy.”

    Man, I will keep thinking on this for much longer than today 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t want to share the last toasted coconut brownie with anyone, although I will grudgingly let my kid and husband finish it if they must. 🙂

    I struggle with running, yet I continue to do it, partially because it forces me to push myself physically but also because it forces me to confront myself mentally. It’s just you, the road and your own thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is the ultimate test of love to let someone have the last coconut brownie! Did I mention icing on the brownie? I must take a picture the next time I make them.

      When I had toddlers at home, running became my salvation. It was the only time during the day (including bathroom time) when I could be alone!

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  12. Oief. Way to start my day with an opened heart. Thank you Laurie. The thought of “how did I deserve this love?” when I think of how much my parents love me is so big for me. It baffles me. I don’t understand it. I don’t understand what I did, or why I should ever deserve that love. Now having a niece, under a year old, has just began to show me how you can love someone so unconditionally, simply for just being there, for being who you are. Its extremely powerful. More powerful than I can often sit with.

    ” I want to be aware of my surroundings and my interior conversation is usually amusing enough to keep me entertained.” —> aha. Funny, but so true. I rarely put in ear phones when I go for a walk, or when I used to run. I don’t so much like the feeling of being disconnected to my surroundings.

    Do you ever read anything by Anne Lammott??

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I really enjoyed visiting today! I’m a writer and a runner and a cake-eater as well! If not for a bad knee, running would probably be one of the biggest parts of my life, but I do get out there for a ten-miler every weekend! These words were wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I enjoy seeing you point the different thought processes your mind takes doing different trainings. You don’t have to be a runner to experience this. Just find what allows your mind to process…explore…listen. I used to do a lot of trail running. It was my favorite. The scenery, the distraction of where to place your foot was like a game, and there was usually more shade. Thanks for sharing with us at #LiveLifeWell.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the comment. I agree completely, you don’t have to be a runner, you just have to still your mind. Thank you for the opportunity to share!

      Like

  15. Wow, we could totally run together. Each of us lost in our thoughts (until you said you talk non-stop). A lot of this is very relatable. My mind goes in similar directions when I go long (although it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had a long run – plantar fasciitis–and I thought it was finally gone over the past two months but it’s flaring again. For me, running = meditation and fortunately I have some very easy very empty wooded trails by my house. I don’t need to pay attention and I don’t see anyone. Sometimes I’ll realize that I have no idea where I am on my run and I’ll need to pass a landmark to determine if I’m almost done or I have a ways to go yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Actually, I usually run by myself and it’s my meditation time too. It’s only when I run with a friend or my poor hubby that I talk a lot! 🙂 I saw from your website that you live in Gettysburg. I live near Lancaster!

      So sorry to read about your plantar fasciitis. I dealt with that briefly years ago but got over it quickly. I ran a marathon on Sunday which made my hip injury flare up, so I am temporarily sidelined too. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Laurie, I so enjoyed this post. I am not a runner, never have been. But I love where your thoughts take you when you’re running. And your stream of consciousness “babble” made me smile. I have constant words drifting through my head when I walk and when I’m looking for beauty to snap photos of. 🙂

    Your thoughts on living holy made me think. I so appreciate the perspective of moments being holy. I need to remember this the next Tim my day feels like it’s gone South. 🙂

    I so enjoyed getting to know you a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the comment, Jeanne. I think we each reach for holiness in our own way. For me, it was running; for you, it is looking for beauty in nature to take pictures of. It’s a way to shut off the interior monologue in our heads and let God speak to us. I am so glad you found my little corner of the internet!

      Liked by 1 person

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