"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Ol’ Blue

“Do not cast me off in the time of old age” - Psalm 71:9

I was recently considering various passages of Scripture which speak to the idea of aging; its wisdom (Job), its splendor (Proverbs), its due respect (1 Timothy). And one of the verses, Psalm 71:9, made me think about a running related epiphany of sorts, and I thought I’d share.

This past week, my vehicle (aka, Ol’ Blue), turned over a few numbers on the odometer and landed on an interesting figure. It wasn’t a major milestone, (although, these days every new mile is a major milestone), but as I stopped at the traffic light I noticed it had settled on 236,026.2 For obvious reasons, the 26.2 caught my attention. I started thinking about reaching 262,000 (or better yet 262,262!) in a few years - how cool, huh? Of course, the traffic light turned green and my mind turned to more important thoughts, like whether or not I had time for a Chick-fil-A drive-thru?

Fast forward to the following morning and a run from the 'Y' parking lot. Like hundreds of times prior, I completed the workout and returned to Ol’ Blue for my post-run ritual; fuel belt and hat hung in position, sweaty shirt on the hood in a halfway attempt to let it dry, and so forth. This is always cool-down and refuel central after long runs. As I stood there trying to recover, I glanced over at her and it struck me ... My vehicle and I have become a perfect match, personalities formed across many years and much time together, perhaps described best as a couple of long distance, keep on keepin' on, hard working, rain or shine, it ain’t pretty but it sure is tough, marathon machines. No wonder I refuse to cast her off in her time of (relative) old age!

Just as I am starting to see ’50’ in the windshield, (off in the distance a bit, but it’s out there), and ’40’ is no longer visible in the rear-view mirror, Ol’ Blue is turning 20 this year. Together we pace ourselves well. We get our regular check-ups, and we attempt (she better than I) to keep sludge out of the tank. Sure, there’s the dented fender, the leaky window, the inoperable gas gauge, the duct-taped seats, the creaky vibration sound when turning left, and more (much more). But those are simply reminders of the journey. No different than that dog bite scar, the achy back, the tight IT that clamors for attention, the creaky vibration sound in my knees on the Monday after race day, and more (much more). All are reminders of the journey and reminders for us to keep our collective head down, our motors in gear, and our Firestone All-Weathers / Brooks Adrenalines moving us forward, one new mile at a time.

Alright, I’ll admit that the line between deep, interesting reflection and corny commentary is fairly thin. So let’s close this reflection with a motivational thought that both Ol' Blue and I wake up to each morning ...

There will be a day when we can no longer run, but seemingly, and hopefully, and thankfully, today is not that day!


  1. Followed your link from the Running Injury Free website. I enjoyed reading this article. My wife and I have two old vehicles, a 2002 Toyota Highlander with 374,000 miles (my wife put it out to pasture and got her a new ride) and a 2001 Suzuki (not too) Swift with 218,000 miles (like ol' Blue, this is my goto on a daily basis). Neither are pretty, but both extremely reliable. May we contine to "run the race" that has been set before us. Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Just saw your comment ‘unknown’ - thank you. And 374K, you give me great hope. Blessings on your journey as well. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.