Monday, March 17, 2008

Goldfinger and an Easter message

As you can see from my Mario triplets on the right hand side of the page, I have been running fairly consistently lately. Those of you who run or otherwise exercise alone know how much thinking goes on while you're sweating.

I have been running with my iPod (and some Bluetooth headphones, which are awesome for exercising, by the way), but even though I've had music going on, my thoughts have wandered all over the place.

The most salient thoughts so far have been induced by comments from two guys I passed while jogging. I run through our downtown neighborhood in Ogden, so we have some understandably interesting folks wandering around.

The first one was on Friday, when a homeless-looking guy on a bike rode past me and as I smiled and waved, he said, "You can run faster than that!" I kind of laughed it off, but it made me think. First, I thought, "Well at least I'm running." Then, I thought, "You know, I probably can go a little faster." I pushed myself a little more throughout that run and it helped. It reminded me that you have to push yourself into uncomfortable situations some times if you want the best results.

The second instance was today, St. Patrick's Day, as I ran along the sidewalk and passed a man in a motorized wheelchair rolling along the street beside me. As I slowly caught up with him over the course of a block, I had time to think of something to say (I don't know why I always have to say "hi" to people when I exercise, but I do*). As I passed him, I looked over and said, "You make this look so easy." He replied, "I wish I could trade you places, man." "That's understandable," I said.

After a few more steps I was almost out of hearing, so I yelled back something about having a good day and I kept running. I started thinking about what he had said, that he would trade with me and I thought about the wonderful resurrection that awaits us all after this life. I thought about how he will someday not need that wheelchair ever again. It made me happy as I thought of Christ, his atonement and the fact that we get to celebrate it on Easter this Sunday.

As I thought of that, I was prompted that I needed to tell the man in the wheelchair about my belief in the resurrection. My turn-around spot was coming up, so as I turned, I was able to meet back with the guy after a block.

I jogged up to him and said hello again, then asked his name and introduced myself. His name is Rob. I shook his hand (he had to take off a glove to do so) and leaned over so I could look in his eyes. Then I said, "Rob, I was thinking about what you said about trading places with me and, I don't know what you believe, but with Easter coming up, I wanted to tell you I believe that through Jesus you'll be able to walk and run some day." He smiled and said, "Well, we keep our fingers crossed anyway." "I know it will happen," I said.

I then wished him a good day and told him now that we know each other, hopefully we'll run into each other again. He said that would be nice and I took off.

As I ran a couple more blocks, I noticed something neat, first, I was feeling the Spirit for having born my testimony to this man, and second, my legs aren't as sore when I feel the Spirit. It was a wonderful experience and has truly made my day better and made me more excited to celebrate Easter.

The next song to come onto my headphones (I was listening to Jeff's supermix of Goldfinger songs) was "This Lonely Place." I heard the last chorus of it and it made me think about how I would have felt if I hadn't followed the promptings to share my belief in Christ with Rob.

"I've been around this lonely place, lonely place before,
You got a choice to leave your place your lonely place behind
be true to yourself now and let it go, it's better than you think."

There have been times when I haven't followed the promptings and I have regretted it. This time, however it was hard to do, it made me glad that I'd done it and now it will be easier next time. It is "better than you think."

As for other promptings I need to follow (this also goes along with the not-as-sore-when-feeling-the-Spirit thing) I have been planning to download conference talks to listen to while running, but haven't. I am correcting that today, and will have a few to listen to next time I run. Odds are I'll get even more out of those .mp3s than I do out of Goldfinger.

Hopefully they will help me have other stuff to share with Rob next time I see him!

*The same thing applies to any time you're driving on a dirt road, especially a narrow one where you have to move over to the edge for others to pass. There is something almost genetically wired in people that they have to do a little over-the-steering-wheel wave whenever they pass on a dirt road. That's just how it is.


Ali said...

"Ah Jordan, finding spiritual messages in goldfinger songs even!" (Jeff)

As for me, I just updated my run and you are still one ahead. Kudos to the farther running and mission in progress of sharing the gospel while at it! You rock. Happy Easter to the two...oh wait, three of you too. :)

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing. Inspiring, you are! You're great. Congrats on doing so good on your running.