The Olympics & faith: Ancient wisdom, modern practice, part 2

It was late in the afternoon.  Our county wide running club had hired an Olympic coach for just one day.  The elite runners had the first group appointment at 8:00 a.m.  The rest of the members were assigned an hour long slot based on their average mile time from a recent 10K race.

My group, those who were the last to finish, had the final hour with the coach.

Going around the table, each asked the coach how to manage their various injuries or conditions while continuing to run.  When it was my turn, I asked how to be faster.  The coach said that first he needed to know what my injuries were, how often I ran, and my average number of miles covered per week.  I told him I ran daily, covered about 20 miles a week, and had no injuries.

He asked, “No injuries?  What are you thinking when you run?”

I told him that running is a time for me to ponder the nature of God, consider some Scripture that has touched me, pray for my children and myself.  In response he shook his head in agreement, then gave me some training ideas to increase my speed.

Our session concluded with out me having the opportunity to add that mishaps had occurred while running.  Each was healed through prayer, leaving me with complete physical freedom.  One time, lost in thought, I wasn’t paying attention to the road in front of me.  Stumbling on a pothole, I heard a snap in my foot and then fell.  At that moment, sitting on the pavement, I had a strong thought that I was not out of alignment with God.  Despite the circumstances, I felt at peace.  Then my foot was able to support my weight again and I completed the jog as usual with my running group.

The Olympic coach recognized in my experience the effect of “athletics elevated to a spiritual plane” (see part 1 of this post).  This passage from author and spiritual pioneer Mary Baker Eddy describes my feeling that day, “You are not alone.  Love is with you watching tenderly over you by day and night; and this Love will not leave you but will sustain you and remember all thy tears, and will answer thy prayers.”

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