In the immediate aftermath of October 10, 2011, I started running.

Everyday without fail, I ran.
Sometimes twice a day.

As I ran I cried. Listened to music. Cursed. Cursed God. Glared at people who looked at me funny. And well, if you can imagine an angry, mad man spoiling for a fight–any fight to ease the pain, then you can probably see me fairly accurately at that time.

I ran. It didn’t matter how hot, cold, or wet it was. I ran.

It was my therapy of sorts. It helped me focus on the minute by minute or better yet, the next step. And the next. And the next.

God knows I needed some therapy then.
And I still do.

After months of laziness and inactivity, I have started running again. Ostensibly to help me lose the pounds packed back on in almost a year of being married again. But don’t blame Becki. She’s a great cook and I like to eat. (She makes everything from scratch–the first time I tried to buy canned whop whop biscuits, she looked at me like the idiot I found out I was!)

I happen to believe when God made me, he left out the function called metabolism. I have none. I can gain five pounds looking at your water glass sitting across the room. Heaven helps us if you are eating a hamburger, then it might be ten gained pounds–all without the personal satisfaction of tasting your “two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame bun.”

And so, in an effort to help the diet process and regain my youthful fighting form (go ahead and laugh, one day I will be skinny again–I just hope it’s before the worms get me), I run.

I am back up to the two mile mark again–and trying to inch the distance up just a few tenths more a day. I am exhausted–my body hasn’t gotten back quite into the routine yet–but I am running.

And it is therapeutic. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I curse. Sometimes I curse God. And thankfully, sometimes I go mercifully blank. Even better, sometimes I begin to think I am going to have a normal relationship with God.

But then again, my normal is a bit different these days.
Even so, I am thankful for the life we have already built–the life we will continue to build.

I haven’t quit. I won’t quit. Even though I have deep questions to which there seem to be no answers, I will share this story. I will continue to run (and write, speak, and live).

In our doubt, our faith may blossom; in our struggle, hope may lie. In our tears we find our laughter, in the darkness, God is nigh. For the wonder and the comfort and the mystery of our faith, may we live in glad commitment to the One who is our way.

For the road that leads us onward to the places yet unseen; for the Spirit ever leading to the dreams we’ve yet to dream; for the faith enough to question and the faith enough to trust, may our lives be used in service given in the name of love.

“Hands of Blessing” Peggy Haymes 1992

Les Ferguson

5 thoughts on “Running

  1. Les, you are doing a good job at believing…just keep on believing:) I am so sorry for your pain. I pray for all those who grieve a loss every day.

  2. Of all the things or people we curse, God is the only one who actually understands. And reaches out to us.

    I used to run. Now I walk, unless I’m reclining. I prefer reclining over walking, but I did walk a mile yesterday.

    Years ago I was preaching for a church in Florida and the first year was wonderful. Then it turned bad. Really bad. We stuck it out 7 more years, but they were the worst years of my 30 years of preaching.

    I was a high school basketball official, (and had been in Alabama before moving to FL) but I started taking every game I could get, desperately taking junior high girls games … THE worst game to call no matter your level of officiating or years of experience. I ran miles a day to deal with the frustration. And I hated running. My routine for getting in shape at the start of each season (I officiated for 20 years) was to go to the first game! Terribly out of shape but after a game or two, I started shaping up for the season.

    This really has nothing to do with your blog, just triggered some thoughts on a bad time in my life and how running helped.

    Don’t worry about that metabolism thing. As you approach my age, it only gets worse. 🙂

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