Sometimes, something which happens in the course of the day will inspire me to write.  Ok, I HAVE to remember to blog about that later, the little transcriptionist inside my head diligently notates.  But by the time the day is done, so am I.  Really all I want to do is come home, slip into some cozy sweats and a North Face, pull my hair into a pony, light the fire and just chill.  It doesn’t happen nearly enough.  Though as soon as I’m done with this entry, tonight will mark the first time in March it’s definitely happening – mostly in honor of the premiere of Suits at 9pm – but also because I am in desperate need of some chillaxing.  And a massage, I could really use one of those too.

“Man, you’re movin’ today!” Doug said during yesterday’s hilly 8-miler.
“No s%@*!” retorted a normally expletive-free Mike.

“I run best when I’m mad.”

Maybe that’s the secret – channeling all things negative into one giant positive.  Actually, it’s no secret at all…it’s life.  I read a quote in the latest Runner’s World which instantly resonated (I’m thinking of wallpapering my office in quote-laden sticky notes, that’s how much I love and appreciate good ones):

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.                          
      –Haruki Murakami, author of What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Accept it wasn’t optional for one man over 2,000 years ago.  It’s been interesting to me to hear of the things people are “giving up” during this Lenten season which began yesterday, Ash Wednesday.  Some people give up Facebook.  Others give up chocolate.  Or coffee.  Or some other vice.  On and on with the eradicated things in a futile 40-day effort to repay the price which was gifted for our salvation.

And it’s all just stuff.  We give up stuff.  The irony is, we don’t need the crap in the first place.

You wanna know what I’m giving up?  Me.  That is, the “me” that was trudging along blindly without any fortitude or intentionality.

That is NOT to say I’m going back to the old me who foolishly planned everything either.  I can’t.  You can’t.  We can’t.  The unknown is supposed to be unknown for a reason – so we can learn and grow on the path towards our final destination.  It’s the journey and how well we choose to live it that matters.

Learning from mistakes.  Righting wrongs.  Being strong in the face of adversity.  Saying what you mean.  Meaning what you say.  You know, the basics which we so easily take for granted or push to the side in favor of skirting fears and trying to control our own destinies.

I know I’m destined to fail at times.  I know I’m destined to screw up a lot of times.  I know I’m not always the person I think I am or that deep down, I secretly want to be.  I know when it’s my fault.  And I know this because I live with me and the reminders every day which is kind of punishment enough.

However, I also know there is hope in this world even though more times than not, all things negative threaten to rob us of that novel idea.  But I choose to continue to believe in it nonetheless, because I recognize things for what they are.   

For the next 39 days of Lent, I am going to journal nightly and get back to my roots. (Note: Chels, coming to visit…please make me your famous turkey tacos and find a flatter pillow so my neck doesn’t get all jacked up-thanks, love you.)  I’m a big believer that’s where we should go when we’re lost, when we need comfort and guidance – back to the basics.  As it says in John 15:5:  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” 

So true.  We need Him.  Because we do a mighty fine job of messing everything up when we forget that, and besides, I like hope.  Unlike suffering, it is not optional for me.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul – and sings the tunes without the words – and never stops at all.”  –Emily Dickinson


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