Before I ran an eight-mile trail race in Florida last month, I decided on a time goal. Actually, I set three goals, like I do for most races.
I usually have a fallback goal, which I am pretty sure I can achieve (so I am assured a reason to give myself a pat on the back), a realistic goal, and a pie-in-the-sky, if-all-the-stars-align goal, which I typically don’t achieve.
My fallback goal for the Florida race, assuming the trails were fairly runnable, which they were, was to complete the race in 88 minutes. My realistic goal was 80 minutes and my pie-in-the-sky goal was 72 minutes.
I ran the race in 71 minutes, which is why you are reading about it now.
I usually play my cards pretty close to my vest. I don’t share my goals with anyone before the race.
Lent begins this Wednesday.
In an act of self-discipline, many people give up something for Lent, such as meat or sweets or alcohol.
I have never given up any physical pleasure, but one year, I gave up complaining and I thought my head would explode before Easter. I never realized before that exercise what a whiner I am.
I didn’t tell anyone, not even my hubby, what I was doing beforehand, of course, because that’s the way I am.
This year, as Lent approached, I finished reading a biography of the twentieth-century German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
I had read books written by Bonhoeffer before, but never one about his life. The ending was tragic, of course (he was executed by the Nazis a few weeks before the end of the war), but I knew that before I read the book.
What impressed me most, however, was the dedication Bonhoeffer exhibited to “walk his talk“.
Bonhoeffer called God a god of “Yes“. “Yes” to life, “Yes” to love, “Yes” to human pleasures and “the desire for earthly bliss“.
Bonhoeffer preached the concept that humanity was created by God and belongs to God. God participates in humanity on purpose and redeemed it through the incarnation.
Our response, Bonhoeffer thought, was to say “Yes” to God in return, to live our lives to the utmost, responsibly, bravely, exuberantly, in freedom and with empathy for others.
In this spirit, my plan for Lent is not to subtract anything from my life, but to add something to it.
Here are some of the ideas I have been kicking around:
- Saying something nice to someone each day.
- Listening, really paying attention, when someone speaks to me.
- Meditating on a Bible verse every day.
- Making an extra donation to one of my favorite charities.
- Writing a note, text, or email to someone I love each day.
- Saying a prayer the minute I wake up, before I get out of bed.
- Writing down one thing I am thankful for each day.
- Spending ten minutes quietly meditating each day.
Of course, keeping with my close-to-the-vest policy, I am not saying ahead of time which of these ideas I will actually select.
This is my way of saying “Yes“, of planting both of my feet firmly on God’s earth.
“I fear that Christians who venture to stand on earth on only one leg will stand in heaven on only one leg too.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
You can find the places I link up here.
Please click on the following link to read more funny or inspirational one-liners. One-Liner Wednesday.