At six this morning, my husband and I ran. We did not run far.

It was only the second time we have run together in a year.

As we looped around a nearby parking lot near the extended stay suite we call home for now, I was aware of my resistance. Most of me wanted to go back to bed, to a sweet sleep. I willed my muscles to work their memory, inspired by the discipline of the Olympic athletes and a book I recently skimmed in Barnes and Noble.

The book is entitled The Fat Boy Chronicles. It is written as a journal from the perspective of an obese high school adolescent, struggling to belong, to have friends, to be seen and heard. He eventually loses 65 pounds through daily running and weight lifting with his dad and embracing his mother’s shared knowledge and practice of healthy choices. 

I was so inspired by his story, based on a true one. Much like I was inspired to run in the Peachtree Road Race by a fat woman I cheered one year.

So, into the cold, dark morning we jogged and as we circled the pavement, the sun rose. Slowly speading the dark horizon with violet color.

I thought about my resistance later, as I noticed the sweat in my hair. Why am I so resistant each time I start out the door in my running shoes, REI jacket, and knitted hat, I pondered. The question seemed rhetorical,  perplexing, as I returned to our suite, enjoyed another cup of coffee, felt the runners’ high. How could one resist endorphins? Why wouldn’t I want to feel such joy? What makes me forget early each morning, just how good running is?

The faith journey is not so different. We drag ourselves out of deep sleep, put on our prayer shawls, practice the spiritual disciplines with pure grit. Afterwards, we feel the joy of the encounter, experience the endorphins found in the Presence.

What causes me  to resist prayer, time with God, union? Why do I struggle each morning to get out of my spiritual bed? My body, incarnate with sleep, is not the only hindrance. My soul struggles as well.

I don’t really have a clear answer but I know when I run on, pray on,  practice the discipline of trained athletes and saints, I find joy.

Scarlett O’Hara stated in strong and determined hope, “Tomorrow is another day.”  Pray I will get out of bed. I pray you will rise early as well.