Jan 22, 2010
In his essay, IS RUNNING A RELIGION, Dr. George Sheehan makes that point that running is a place, not a system of belief. Running gives us an opportunity to renew ourselves while we’re out there on the road: both psychologically and spiritually.
I’ve heard that phrase before: “Running is your religion” and it makes about as much sense as the phrases “cooking is your politics” or “singing is your manifesto”.
Every time you go out for a run, you are given an opportunity to commune with yourself, with your thoughts and with your God. The sins of yesterday are forgiven on the roads; that extra slice of pizza you couldn’t help inhale; the frustration turned outward anger you expressed at someone who didn’t deserve the outlash is suppressed, your soul is made calm, your body serves it’s good purpose…running takes you to a place that cannot be defined by latitude and longitude.
As you run, you develop the deepest commitment; the most serious mind…your mind begins to focus on “where you are and what you are doing”.
And it does you no good to visit this physical monastery only a few times in your life, or on random occasions when you have the time. You have to visit this place called “running” often; almost everyday if you can.
In other words: If you want to take with you, through the course of your life, the positive benefits of our sport: you have to constantly renew yourself out there on the road.
For those of us who believe in God, running is an opportunity for prayer. You don’t have to always pray in quiet places or on Holy Ground. When you’re out there, running at the perfect pace, feeling the sweat coat your body and moving with the breeze in your face…you are being the good animal you were meant to be; but more than that: you’re performing an act that your body was evolved to perform.
This is the perfect place to have a conversation with God.
When you run, you are acting more human; and as a homo sapian, or thinking man: you are in community both with God, the creator of heaven and earth and with nature and the universe all around you.
Dr. Sheehan makes this point very clearly: Running is a place to commune with God and yourself, it’s a place for psychological and spiritual renewal.
Running is NOT a religion. It is in its very essence: a place.
** WARNING **
This episode ends with another angry (some might say “psychotic”) diatribe as I lash out against the babbling hate-speak of a self righteous bigot who has the audacity to call himself a Christian.
As far as I’m concerned, Pat Robertson can go to hell.
Please pray for the people of Haiti.
The song “Hey Kate” by The Fire Apes http://www.myspace.com/fireapes