Like my fellow Americans, I am still in shock and grieving over what transpired in Boston. Like many Oklahomans, I had previous plans to take part in the April 28 Memorial marathon in Oklahoma City, only now with an even more heightened purpose.
In training and preparation for my personal goal of running a half-marathon for the first time, I have been trying to remember the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing for which the race is dedicated. In the aftermath of the tragedy in Boston, I find further motivation.
Running, like any activity, is always at its finest when attached to a purpose. In our image-driven society, exercise efforts are too often undertaken for largely self-absorbed reasons, such as looking better in the mirror.
The Apostle Paul, meanwhile, tells us that bodily exercise profits some (1 Timothy 4:8), but spiritual well-being is the higher goal. Even when embarking on a good task, like jogging, we would do well to tie it to a purpose.
The purposes, of course, do not always need to be grand. Instead of a run on a treadmill, you could jog to the post office near your house to deliver mail. Or you could meet a friend or family member to jog and have fellowship. Or you could prayerwalk in your neighborhood.
While there are bound to be times we do activity to merely edify our bodies, I recommend we actively look for ways to do it with an added and higher purpose.
Certainly when I, Lord willing, line up to run later this month with thousands of others, we will be running to remember the fallen in 1995 and from this week in Boston. May God continue to have His hand on our country in this difficult stretch of miles ahead.