“I went running today,” I said.
“You? What? Really?”
“Yes, really. I’m trying to get into shape. I’m doing other stuff, eating right.”
“Wow. You’re running?”
“I’m not a runner, but I’m more of a runner than I wasn’t last week.”
We talked about this for a bit, she offered some advice, and then one thing led to another, and when I head out for my annual visit next fall we’re going to do a 5K. What did I just get myself into? She’s not going to let me beg off on this, and I am certainly not going to put her in the position of having something to bring up for the next ten years. (Except “Why did you get my three year old a drumset?” THAT I will gladly own up to every day.)
Here’s the thing about it—my run today was easier than my first one. It was still stupidly hard, don’t get me wrong, but it was less stupidly hard. And I keep looking down the line, thinking, “I may be able to run and not wish I was dead at the same time by March!” I told my dad this, and he said, “Yes. That’s called discipline.”
We are Disciples of Christ, and as it has been said a thousand times before, disciple and discipline share the same root, and sometimes the same idea: we are practicing at something to get better. Either saying “no” to that which is harmful, or “yes” to that which may further our relationship with the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer. What would happen if every member of the church looked at prayer like running? A little further every day, a little longer, a little deeper? What if we took on studying and faith development like that? A little riskier, a little more challenging, a little more out of our comfort zone, day by day? Can you imagine a world where our giving was about building endurance?
This coming week in worship, we’ll be talking about How Do We Do Church?, kind of carrying on from last week’s question of “Why Go to a Church?” I hope I’ll see all of you there. And remember, if you try to duck out right after, I’m getting faster—I will catch up to your car so I can at least say hi. (Another good reason to wear sneakers!) I look forward to seeing you all Sunday.