my search to understand the bigger picture

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Smorgasboard (Did I spell that right?_

This post could quite possibly end up having multiple subjects before it's all said and done. First and foremost, some of what's been occupying my mind lately..........

Experiences. Some people attempt to find joy in stuff. Some people search for it in unforgettable experiences. Others seek it in a host of other ways. For me, I've found that I attempt to find joy, peace, etc in experiences as much as anything else. When I'm stressed I just want to sit by a campfire, or I dream of going on an epic backpacking adventure. I think of the next great race I want to participate in. Or, I try to relive past experiences. My mind wanders back to backpacking in the Porkies with my dad and brother, my two trips to the Grand Canyon, South Africa, camping in college, visits to Colorado, Lake Michigan, retreats at friend's cabin in Michigan, family vacations to my aunt's cottage.

What struck me the other day was how unfulfilling these things really are. They are great in the moment, but once they've past they leave a gaping hole, creating an intense desire for more of the same. Material things do the same thing. My thoughts turned to Jesus, and I realized something powerful.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but typically when we read about Jesus escaping from the crowds, it wasn't simply to go to a mountaintop. It was to go to a mountain to pray. He wasn't just searching for a relaxing experience that would recharge him. He was searching for the Father.

These experiencs are not bad. But what is unfortunate is when I look to those experiences to fulfill me, to give me rest, to relieve stress in my life. Only Christ can successfully do that. Sure, experiences can sort of help get us away from the every day. But NOTHING will ever satisfy the way Jesus can.

Just think about it.

Now, on to runnig. I was able to hit Kickapoo again this morning, and got my 100th trail mile in this year. It's funny that my total mileage so far this year is probably the least at this point in many years, and yet I've had more quality runs mentally than most years. Being on the trails is so comforting and soothing to me. I absolutely love being out there in nature, no matter the weather.

To finish this post off, here's a few videos that I took today while out running. I definitely took it easy today, and just tried to enjoy the magnificent views while getting a good workout in. Afterwards I spoke to my good friend Michael Chitwood, who's getting ready to leave in a week and a half with another group of Team World Vision runners who will run this year's Comrades Marathon in South Africa. Hard to believe it's been a year since I ran that 56 mile beast! Keep this year's team in your prayers, that all would finish the race and they would help many many children through child sponsorships.

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