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A Runner’s Meditation

breathe in:
one – two – three – four

breathe out:
one – two – three – four

hold back. sink down

one – two – three – four

lap two on the way to . . . ? can I make four miles today?

yes

shoulders relax. drop down. don’t push forward.

breathe in:
one – two – three – four

breathe out:
one – two – three – four

focus on the tree out the far window

lean into the turn

pass that walker, with head phones and a dark pony tail every time in the same place . . . going twice as fast as she is

lap seven. half a mile

definitely feels like four

hold back . . .  don’t push

just lean gently into the run

it’s a controlled fall

catch yourself with each step

center line straight and tilting slightly forward

see the tree . . . internalize its form . . . straight, tall, grounded

let gravity do its work

lap 13 . . . one mile

water . . . grab the bottle . . .  don’t break stride  . . . two drinks . . . another lap . . . set it back on the ledge

now i’m going . . . mind is free to ask a question:

what does this practice of falling gently teach me?

breathe in: one – two – three – four

where are the connections?

breathe out: one – two – three – four

shoulders back and down

stop pushing

fall gently . . . hold back

lap 20 – two hands in the air –  yes

the reign of God is like . . . ?

breathe in: one – two – three – four

what did Jesus say about falling? anything? what about following?

breathe out: one – two – three – four

don’t just fall shoulders-first, bent over

straight line from head to heart to hips to knees and feet

swan dive . . . gently falling

lap 26  . . . mile two

water . . . two gulps, don’t break stride

kenosis

no. that can’t be it.

breathe in: one – two – three – four

what someone said about Jesus falling?

breathe out: one – two – three – four

emptiness. no. giving it all away. not.

wrong move.

yet my body says so.

pushing doesn’t work. too much energy. not much in return.

falling gently. let gravity do its work.

join in the flow that is already flowing.

go in the way that is already going.

Was God already going to us, when Christ fell slowly into Jesus?

Is God already and always leaning into us? With us. Among us. Falling slowly into our lives?

Lap 31 . . . thirsty . . . wait

breathe in: one – two – three – four

this falling, sacrificing, giving is not just to be emulated.

breathe out: one – two – three – four

it is to be received. welcomed.

falling slowly and not pushing is learning about God’s falling. but . . .

lap 39. mile three. water. ahhh.

but not  about me having to be God. of course not.

breathe in: one – two – three – four

receive: one – two – three – four

breathe out: one – two – three – four

live: one – two – three – four

lap 40 – hands in the air

counting on fingers . . . going with the flow

a faster runner joins us on the lap track. he’s lapping me

feel the competition tighten the muscles

shoulders back and down

breathe in: one – two – three – four

stop pushing

breathe out: one – two – three – four

fall gently . . . hold back

lap 48. almost there

sprint the final laps?

yes

lean totally into the flow

when the fast guy goes by lapping me, fall faster

lean into the gravity

feel the high of running full out

finish exhausted and satisfied

breathe in: one – two – three – four

slow down

breathe out: one – two – three – four

walk around . . . one more lap

deep, deep breath

thanks to the tree

to my body for carrying me

thanks for water

and kenosis

yes

  • #faculty 2019-20
@unionseminary
  • #repost 
@childdefender1973 
#backtoschool means so many things. God’s mercy on every child who struggles with these questions.
  • What a beautiful day to start the fall teaching term!
#FirstDayOfSchool
#TeachingSelfie #EveningClass
#WishMeLuck @unionseminary #BackToSchool #BackToSeminary
  • What a full day it has been! The first day of orientation is done. I’m delighted to meet the incoming students and imagine our work together this year in pastoral theology and care as well as the death, dying, and bereavement course next spring. It is also joyful to meet colleagues in the work of theological education. And this evening on a walk I even spotted @alexisinnyc having dinner with her family along Broadway. [This is the part where you break into it’s a small world after all.] . 
many things will no doubt “pull me up short” in the days ahead. And you can read about my first experience of that at my blog. Today’s #Episode39 of @threeminuteministrymentor is about learning from the moments that happen when we don’t know how to respond. From this kind of pain can come truly transformed learning. #backtoschool #BackToSeminary #3MMM #3MinuteMinistryMentor #TheologicalEducation #Seminary #SeminaryLife #MinistryLife #PulledUpShort #Learning
  • Last gasp of #summer at the #mnstatefair 😎🤩😍
  • Advanced my summer writing projects and turned in one more this week. The grading is all finished and posted. New haircut yesterday. Now I have one more decision to make… Which T-shirt should I buy? ‘Cause Orientation is next week and I wanna look sharp. 😎

#VisitingProfessor #UTSNYC (Translation: This year I‘ll be a visiting assoc. professor of pastoral theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York.)
@unionseminary

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