Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Participating in TNT is another counter cultural voice in my life. Often, when things aren't the way we want them to be in our lives, we hull up. We self-isolate. And we refuse to share the full truth of our reality. That happens spiritually (we don't want to admit to addiction or sinfulness or back sliding, or a lack of spiritual disciplines) and it happens physically (we don't want to admit bad eating habits, or lack of exercise, or laziness when it comes to our health). So it's easier to go at it alone, otherwise someone might find us out.
During the week, I have been training on my own. Not to self-isolate, just because there aren't a lot of team mates in my area and Saturdays are our together day. And sometimes, on Saturday I'm pushed to run faster or longer than I would on my own. My team stretches me to be better. This week, I ran with a teammate who trains nearby and she claimed that she's "slow", well, we weren't running 30 seconds before I knew her pace was a lot faster than mine. She claimed to be a jogger, but she most assuredly was running. (Where the actual shift from jog to run actually happens, I don't really know). But she was running. And I ran with her. I hadn't stretched properly or done anything the day before and so my calves burned almost instantly and they kept burning. After one mile I asked to stop and stretch and then we walked mile 2 and then did a mix of running and walking mile 3. She pushed me to be better. It wasn't intentional on her part, she didn't set out thinking "I've got to make her a better runner" but her example (and her pace) drove me to up the anty on my own running.
And that's what community does. Community that's focused on the same goal anyway. Community that shares the same values and practices the same disciplines draws us into being better, and that's the way it should be.
Thank you teammates. Go Team!
If you would like to donate to the cause, click here.
Friday, October 11, 2013
Nevertheless, sometimes I still get down on all of it. I come to the end of a walking interval and hear the voice on the computer app tell me, "Start running" and I think "oh shut up, I don't want to run." And then I remind myself, "I do want to fight cancer. I do want to see a cure. I do want people to stop suffering. I do want there to be tangible hope." And so I start picking my feet up a little faster and get back to running.
This is a challenge. If I were doing it for myself, I think I might have thrown in the towel a few weeks ago. But this isn't about me. It's bigger than me. And that helps me get over myself and keep at it.
If you want to help fight cancer, click here to donate.
Monday, October 7, 2013
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
A few months ago, I was talking with Kathleen S, a childhood friend. She was sharing that she has Leukemia and that she takes chemo pills daily and will likely have to for the rest of her life. She was sharing some of the challenges of her illness. She was also sharing some of the blessings of the research and medical advancements. She said that right before she was diagnosed, the statistic for those diagnosed with Leukemia was that within 5 years of diagnosis 80% of patients would be dead. BUT because of the research and advancements that statistic has changed. It has been turned on its head. NOW, the statistic is that within 5 years of diagnosis 80% of patients will LIVE. That's huge. And that is worth fighting for. The way I know how to fight is to run and raise money for a cure. Not just better statistics, but a cure. So I am running, for Kathleen, and the others like her, who have life despite their illness and hopefully will one day simply have life and no trace of illness. Please join me in fighting for a cure!
As I write about my journey here, I think it's important to share the bad as well as the good. Or at least the mediocre. I ran a little last week, but not as much or as long as I would have liked. We are across the country visiting and learning from friends before starting a week long mission trip in Maryland.
Today I got out to run. My body has been tightening up and I knew I needed to get out. So I got ready and headed out. It wasn't long into my first run split that I realized I forgot to use my inhaler. I've been without incident when I use it pre-run, but today I felt the burn and ended my run early.
It want the worst that could have happened but not the best either. But at least I got out, right?
I started running to train for the Tinkerbell half marathon. I'm running to support those fighting cancer. I've been excited and have thought that a side effect would be getting in shape and losing weight. I was wrong. Well, half wrong. My endurance is better but I'm not losing weight. At all. I'm eating healthier and eating less and indulging less and still no weight loss. It want my end goal but it's still frustrating and a bit discouraging.
As usual, I can't help but think of the theological connections. Sometimes we start a spiritual discipline thinking that we will see dramatic changes in every aspect of our lives. So we start praying thinking we will be healed and our marriage will get better and our bad habits will disappear. But it doesn't quite happen that way not right away anyway. We only notice subtle changes at first. There's no miraculous transformation after just a few short weeks. Major change takes time. And we must be patient.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Sunday, September 15, 2013
For more than 2 years we have been "battling" with 2 different homeless folks that we serve. We've been in ministry with them nearly twice that time, but 2+ years ago it became a thing. A thing where we had been asking and asking and asking and asking that they not stay the night and not hang out on church property when they weren't attending a church function. We had issues with altercations, shopping carts set on fire, the police, and a whole variety of charming things that come with being in urban-esque ministry with those who live chronically on the streets.
It wasn't the first time we waded in these waters. We had been down a similar road before with other friends we served. But they, after a few months, finally obliged and stopped staying the night and loitering (mostly). But these 2, these 2 refused to waver. And ever since it's felt like a battle. Some days it's just irritating, other days you turn a blind eye because there's not energy or time for it and other days it just infuriates you. Sometimes it's downright exhausting.
One of these friends has been MIA for a couple of weeks. We assume she's back in jail, but it could be any number of things. But he's been around. And last week we decided we needed to draw a hard line. Harder than the rules we had in place. Harder than calling the police (who rarely show up anyway and when they do take more than 45 minutes to get to the church). We decided we would have him sign a contract that said he understands how he has broken the rules and that we are enacting certain consequences as a result.
The content looks like this:
- Breaking into buildings
- Stealing church, NA, and AA property
- Accessing church electricity without permission
- Defiance when asked to leave church property
- Stowing personal belongings in bushes and on church property.
- No mail access effective October 5, 2013. Received mail will be forwarded to an address if provided, or returned to sender.
- No Sunday breakfast, shower, or clothing privileges.
- No Tuesday morning food distribution privileges.
- No access to additional church ministries including worship, NA/AA programs, Bible studies, or special events.
- Sleeping on church property is not allowed at any point.
- Resting, stopping by, or sorting personal belongings is not allowed.
- Lack of church member or pastor presence does not negate any of these rules.
And yet, even knowing all that, it still sucks. When you live in a profession of second (and 157th) chances, you want people to live into the fullness of who they are. You don't want this. Not the bad behavior or the hard line.
And so, sometimes, it sucks.