running and Bible reading

Over the past year, I have come more and more to see the value of a disciplined life.

Certainly as a student working withing a fairly independent academic system, I had to stay on top of my reading and writing, treating it as a full time day job so that I could have my evenings free to spend with Lauren. Over time, I was able to develop a certain balance and rhythm to my days and reap the rewards of developing the disciplines necessary for student life. And over the course of the two months or so that we have been home – no longer studying, actively pursuing employment opportunities, and presented with loads of time – I have tried to maintain that sense of discipline.

One way in which I have tried to do that is through running. Lauren has been running for many years now, and has attempted to get me to embrace it on several occasions, to no avail. Through the fall, we would get up on nice mornings and go for a jog, but I still wasn’t feeling it. In recent weeks, however, I have found myself daily getting out of bed, putting on my trainers and heading out the door for a morning run, even if Lauren chooses not to do so in lieu of other forms of exercise, and even as it has started to turn colder. It has actually come to the point that if I don’t go, my day feels thrown off or incomplete.

The more I run, the more I feel the need to continue to run. It helps establish a rhythm during an open time, and has become a regular part of my day.

This is the essence of the Christian practices, isn’t it? The more that we do something, the more it literally becomes a part of who we are, and we can’t imagine our lives without it.

Leading up to my 30th birthday (seriously … ?), I decided that I needed to re-embrace the practice of scripture reading. And so, for the second time in three years, I am attempting to read the Bible in one year. This may seem like a pretty basic or modest goal, but this is something that I all too often overlook. As I look back at the last time I set out to do this, I am embarrassed at how easily I gave up and allowed other useless habits to replace this essential one.

Here’s what I said to myself back then (with a few updates), and what I feel as though I need to be reminded of every day:


Even though you were brought up in a Christian home, went to Bible college, keep up with all the latest Christian books, listen to sermons and have a Master’s in Theology, and even though you married a wonderful Christian woman and have always surrounded yourself with solid friends, don’t kid yourself; you do not have it all together and figured out. You talk a good game on your blog and in public situations, but it is imperative that you daily present yourself before God and his Word afresh, ready to continually be transformed from the inside out. You may know about God and his Word, but you need to let the truth of the Message affect you in a way that ripples out of your being and spreads out to your neighbours. Don’t hide behind the Christian tag, but come to the Word ready and willing to learn again what it really means to be a follower of Christ.

Running and Bible reading; these are simple yet essential elements of my day during this period of waiting, hoping and trusting. It is good to get out and spend some time in the quiet morning air, and it is good to spend some time in the Word in the hopes that I will hear the again and again the voice of Christ that calls us to follow Him and Him alone.

    • jt*
    • December 18th, 2009

    This was a good and challenging post for me personally.

    • Ian
    • December 18th, 2009

    hey, thanks turtle.

    hope you enjoy your Christmas break. we’ll have to get together sometime soon after the new year.

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