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Running is… November 15, 2009

Posted by jassnight in fitness, Life, Love, running, Spirituality.
Tags: , , , ,

superstock_1431r-214silhouette-of-a-man-running-postersRunning is not just physical for me, it is also spiritual. Let me explain.

Much to the displeasure of my fundamentalist sister and the disappointment of my mother, I have not been inside a church to worship for almost 7 years now.  Why?  Because I have found a direct conduit to God, Yahweh, the Creator (whatever you want to call him/her/it, and shame on me to even try to label.)  I will call him the Beloved for this post, reflecting Trebbe Johnson’s book, “The World is a Waiting Lover: Desire and the Quest for the Beloved.” Her description of an internal connection with the soul that reaches out to the creator best fits my ideals of spirituality.

Here is my issue with organized religion. Religion has a human incentive to it. Since the “church” existed there has been a human desire to profit share with the Beloved. Historically, churches used the beauty and glory of the Beloved to manipulate, suppress, propagate, and market the human agenda – sometimes for good, more often for peripheral motives. Regardless, the church has always portrayed itself as the conduit to the Beloved. You are discouraged to speak to the Beloved unless it is through the convention set down by the church; a certain way to pray, a certain structure to service, a certain amount to tithe, a certain viewpoint in lectures, homilies, sermons, a certain way to die and morn, a certain way to celebrate, a certain way to love.

My connection with the Beloved has no conduit. We talk directly to each other. It is mostly when I run. There is something about the solitude coupled with the rhythmic sounds of breathing, heart beating and foot placement combined with the glory of the outdoors that brings me to the Beloved. This morning’s long run was a classic case.  When I started the run, my mind was in reality. I was thinking about my less than ideal situation. I was stewing about a relationship with someone that frustrates me. I was assessing what I will say in a very important interview tomorrow. Then I climbed out the foggy valley and looked down, I saw the blanket of clouds resting in the valley keeping it warm and safe. A huge flock of geese appeared from behind me and flew overhead. There must have been well over 500 of them crisscrossing in a complex array of “V’s” as they headed south. The sun had risen and splashed colors throughout the sky and fields. The wind was in my face. The smells of fall engulfed my mouth and nose. My day-to-day reality melted away and I was now with the Beloved. We became one. My body and mind connected to the earth. Heaven appeared and I was immersed within it. I loved and was loved. Peace.


Running is… my connection to the Beloved.



1. BigLittleWolf - November 15, 2009

Very thoughtful post. I’ve always found it surprising that so many people need a “building” to find their spirituality. I think it is in so much more. You put it beautifully.

2. Steve Gallow - November 15, 2009

To me you have over simplified the church agenda. I think whole libraries have been written on the subject. I think it also means different things to different people at different times and circumstances in their lives.

I really like how the Ken Wilber describes the process. We are all going through development. Spirituality needs to be developed like all of our skills. Different practices help people to develop in different ways at different times in their life. Right now I find meditation to be a good form for my development. Earlier I found a weekly discipline of worship very beneficial. I also find reading, and studying on the subject has helped me in the past.

At the same time, I really appreciate what you are saying about your relationship and feelings. Keep up the great work. You’re a good man Codner.

3. osmosisofaffliction - November 16, 2009

Peace, that elusive expansion of spirit that we so desire – that feeling of connectedness; oneness.
I was particularly drawn to your last paragraph. It made me smile.
Those are the brief moments which I find, personally, to be restorative – whether it be one’s faith, assurance of life-path, etc. That single feeling, that -in that moment- all is right with the world. Truly lovely.

PS- Hope your interview went well.

4. Religion – Organized or Not? « Nicki's Thoughts, Art & Friends - November 17, 2009

[…] because I have not had my conversations with God.  It is just a feeling.  I knew, when reading my friend Steve’s blog, that I could not just comment.  It would be much more than a passing comment.  Below are my […]

5. anjanette121 - November 17, 2009

Again, Steve, read the book we talked about. Beautiful post!

6. Waiting is… « The Critical Path - November 17, 2009

[…] Tags: happiness, Life, Love, Relationship, Spirituality trackback My last post entitled, Running is… is a play on a phrase in Robert Heinlein’s cult novel, Stranger in a Strange Land. I didn’t put […]

7. Deena Kay - November 17, 2009

Organized religion the way much of it is today IS Government. It governs not unlike the political government. Whether political or religious, it’s government. I have read a LOT about religion. One might be surprised how so many of them have things in common. Not the least of which was Christianity and Wicca. Not in the teachings, but in the practices. Wicca is VERY much misunderstood but it’s mostly misunderstood by organized religion, not it’s practitioners. 🙂

8. And now for some GOOD news! « The Critical Path - November 23, 2009

[…] In previous posts I have told you how running has been instrumental in shaping my psychological and spiritual life. Now I need to tell you the obvious good news. I have never been fitter in my life. I have […]

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