While in Chicago this past fall, I had the opportunity to visit the Team World Vision booth at the marathon expo. Lopez Lomong was signing copies of his book, Running For My Life, an awesome book by the way, and TWV staff were introducing visitors to their work. I was sold. In supporting the Christian humanitarian organization, I was provided a great shirt and a copy of the book, Miles To Run Before We Sleep.
Through his "step by step meditations and reflections toward a life of persevering, risk-taking, justice, mercy and humility," Pastor Tim Hoekstra shares his journey of faith and the opportunity he had to run 50 miles on his 50th birthday, while raising $50,000 for clean water projects in Africa. I decided to make it a 2013 journal. I'm glad I did.
I won't share all of the thought provoking topics, but I can tell you that the first one had me hooked. I'll also mention that Tim encourages the reader to make each entry a weekly devotion so that the passage will sink in. The idea is to consider the application of the entry while on your runs, then to journal additional thoughts. A great process emphasizing retention and real impact.
Anyway, the first meditation spoke of having the courage to act. In it, Tim writes, "Nearly all of us dream about something that could change our life and/or the lives of others. But so often those dreams get lost because we have more "reasonable and necessary" things to give our time to. In those moments I often feel as though my deepest satisfaction as a human being would come if I acted on those dreams and passions. But reality has a loud voice."
There is more, but the general idea is for us to consider the impact that we might have on the world around us if we would have the courage to act out our dreams to make a difference. Even in just the smallest of ways, we could use our unique gifts to make a better world and share the love of Christ.
Maybe everyone becomes just a little consumed with this sort of dream as they approach middle age, and I am no different. The clock is ticking just a bit faster and there is only so much time to give of ourselves in a passionate and relevant way. I wish I had enough courage to pursue purpose more aggressively. I do know that since turning 40, a few years back now, I have tried to consider this type of action more and live it out, albeit in relatively safe ways. Now I prayerfully seek a life changing opportunity that God will ordain for His service. Perhaps it will be tomorrow, or perhaps in 5 or 10 or 15 years. But I don't want to leave this world without knowing the satisfaction of taking that really big, leap of faith kind of risk.
Finally, I thought it was interesting that this first weekly reflection, entitled 'Take a Step', was a similar theme as my 2013 scripture verse; Ephesians 5:15-16
"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity,"