Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My streakaversary

Today is my streakaversary.

"Your what?" you ask.

My streakaversary.  Streakaversary is a word that in my former vocation would be known as a neologism; that is, a made-up word.  And it certainly is a made-up word.  To the best of my knowledge it is used by that small subset of runners known as "streak runners."  They are runners who run every day, or at least they try to.  And in our day there is, of course, an organization, of such runners, with a list of people arranged according to the length of their current streak.  And there is another list of streaks that have ended. 

To be on the list a person needs to have run a minimum of one mile per day, for one year.  As of today I have run a minimum of one mile a day for the last three years, hence my streakaversary.  I have had several streaks of one year, one of two years and this is the second time I have made it to three years.  If I keep it going another three months I will have tied my record, so to speak. 

But if the purpose of this blog is to give praise to God, then why am I dwelling on perhaps my primary avocational pursuit, one that in all honesty was at one time a form of idolatry in my life?  (I sense a future blog post lurking within that question!) 

It is because as I was out running this morning I found myself pondering the connections between being a streak runner and being a disciple of Jesus. 

My streak has a definite starting point, and so does my life as a disciple.  Not everyone has, or can recall, a specific time when they became a disciple of Jesus.  I can't recall the date but do remember the month and year, and more importantly I remember that I clearly knew the next day that something very different had happened in my life.  I didn't know how it would unfold but I knew that there was no going back.

The connection that was most strongly on my mind this morning was that in both running and discipleship there is a conscious act that takes place every day.  Each day I put on my shoes and head out the door.  This particular running streak has persisted through several Minnesota winters, heavy rain, strong winds, mountains, moonlight, injuries and, once, an airport.  Each day requires a conscious exercise of my will to make the streak continue.

There is a daily act of will to living as a disciple.  More truthfully, there are multiple daily acts.  Sometimes I am a better disciple than others.  Sometimes it is easier for me to open my Bible and rest in God's presence.  Sometimes it is easier to hear what God is saying to me at that moment and respond in faith. 

One day my streak will end.  Others have before and this one will too.  It won't be the end of the world when it happens, and I thank God for that sense of perspective.  When it happens I will likely start another one.

But being a disciple of Jesus will be an ongoing journey, ending only when God, in His grace, His mercy, His love, calls me from this world to eternal life. 

I have accomplished a lot in the running I have done over the years, and I know that I will never again come close to the achievements of the "good old days."  Running has given me lots of good friends and cherished memories. Time on the road itself is a good friend, so each day I head out again.

Discipleship is also a daily journey.  The essence of being a disciple is to be a learner and I know that God, who has called me to be a disciple of Jesus, will always have things to teach me.  And one thing that I believe about being a disciple of Jesus is that with the ups and downs of life, the strong and the weak moments of my faith, that the best is yet to come.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Brad for posting this beautiful piece. I too see a great connection between my choice to run each day and my choice to daily follow Christ. My run each day is a different kind of time with God. I don't talk, I listen. Sometimes neither of us talks. But it is our time and has become such a treasure.