“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.” – Gandhi
It was raining cats and dogs this morning. I could not lure my dog Benji to go for a walk without holding an umbrella over his head. The forecast is for rain all day.
Hubs and I are scheduled to do a trail race this evening. I somehow “accidentally” signed us up for not one, but two races this week – one on Thursday evening (the trail race) and one on Saturday morning.
Bill and I have some experience with running races in the rain. Last May, on Mothers’ Day weekend, we ran a 24-hour relay. It rained for 20 of those 24 hours. The 1.5-mile loop course through the woods became a muddy morass. It was impossible to run without sliding sideways. Runners were covered in mud from head to toe. It was one of my all-time running highlights.
Another time we ran a 25K trail race during a downpour. I was so cold and wet after the race, changing into dry clothes crowded out all other thoughts from my mind, but there was no place to change. Bill gallantly held up a towel as a shield so I could change in the car.
I loved it. All of it. The race, the rain, the memory of changing into dry clothes in the front seat of a Passat, every memory I have of that experience is good.
I believe the race tonight will be fun, rain or shine. My mud shoes and hat with a brim to keep the rain out of my eyes are already packed. I anticipate having a good time because I enjoy running in the rain.
Like Gandhi, I think my beliefs shape my reality. They affect how I live my life; they inform my actions, values, and words. If I believe the race will be fun, barring some unforeseen catastrophe, it will be fun.
It is good to examine your beliefs from time to time because, for most of us, our beliefs change as we get older. Here are some of my beliefs.
I believe in a God of love, grace, abundance, and compassion. I believe that we will never completely figure out God and it is useless to try. The whole point of faith is to learn to embrace uncertainty.
I believe too many people have a relationship with God based on fear, that too many Christians are nervous about doing or saying or believing the wrong thing. God knows that we are imperfectly human. We don’t have to do anything to acquire God’s love.
I believe in second chances. And third, fourth, and fifth chances too. As many as it takes. When I taught chemistry, one of the concepts I tried to teach my students was to be comfortable with making mistakes, not to be afraid of them. The important thing is to learn from our errors, both in chemistry and in life.
I believe running has made me a better person. My self-confidence, endurance, satisfaction, and joy have increased because I am a runner. My circle of friends has grown, I have had some incredible experiences, and I have traveled to amazing places because I run.
I believe the “King” from the Burger King commercials is just creepy. I can’t show a photo of him due to copyright issues, but you know who I mean. Which advertising market research analyst looked at the prototype of the king and thought a spine-chilling guy in a plastic mask and crown would help to sell hamburgers?
I believe that most politicians are self-serving, dishonest, partisan, power-hungry crooks and that we still have the best system of government in the world.
I believe that Americans work too much and play too little. We are one of the only developed countries without paid parental leave. Most other nations have between 12 – 20 weeks. We are the only industrialized country that does not mandate paid vacation time and holidays.
According to one source “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.” We don’t have a good balance between work and family life; we don’t leave enough time for fun. To paraphrase Annie Dillard, we are making hay when we should be making whoopie.
I believe that public education has some serious flaws, but it is the best bargain around, education-wise. Besides often being the heart of the communities they serve, schools are usually diverse. They are a place where students of all income levels, ethnicities, racial, and sexual backgrounds can mingle.
Public school teachers are some of the most dedicated, big-hearted, caring people I have ever met. Their responsibilities are enormous and their schedules grueling. And yet…and yet, most teachers love their profession and their students. They could not imagine doing a different job, even one for better pay.
I believe matter is made up of particles too small to imagine and those particles are, at their core, made up of energy. I believe that light and matter are two sides of the same coin, manifest in different ways.
I believe that science is true, whether you choose to believe in it or not.
I believe the Beatles were the best band in history.
I believe that love is love. And…
I believe my grandchildren are adorable.
What do you believe?
I am linking up with Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well, Raisie Bay for Word of the Week, Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5, Crystal Twaddell for Fresh Market Friday, Embracing the Unexpected for Grace and Truth, Susan B Mead for Dancing With Jesus, Counting My Blessings for Faith ‘n Friends, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, My Random Musings for Anything Goes, Abounding Grace for Gracefull Tuesday, Purposeful Faith for RaRa, Mary Geisen Tell His Story, Bethere2day for Wordless Wednesday, InstaEncouragements, and Morgan’s Milieu for Post, Comment, Love.