About a year ago, my Dad handed me a book titled Rediscovering Jesus by Matthew Kelly. He likes to gently share religious reads with me and the sibs without any further words of harassment on whether we actually read such shares or not. After months of sitting on my nightstand, I finally cracked this book and am now on my second reading of it. Thanks Dad!
I highly recommend it especially to all you Catholics out there. The context of the book is a challenge to better understand who Jesus was and who He is in your life.
My reflection and contemplation took things a step further…
I wonder if Jesus was a runner back in the day?
If He graced our common day Earth, would Jesus be a runner now?
The first is doubtful with the exception of using running as a meaningful mode of transportation between 0-33 AD. The latter question is more intriguing.
I believe He would be runner and a mighty good one at that. Here’s why.
From toe to head, Jesus has the complete look of a competitive runner. Those light feet could walk on water…probably with minimal pronation. His locks and beard make Him an ideal cover model for Trail Runner magazine. He’s totally got the look!
Then there’s His lean, svelte, but ripped build. Jesus has the prototypical build of a world-class runner. This is not to say that you must have such a build to be a runner… we come in all shapes and sizes. However, if you were asked to engineer the body of a running phenom, I bet it would have a strong resemblance to Him.
The physical endurance…
In addition to His tangible physical attributes, think about His endurance level. What Jesus was able to do in carrying that cross, enduring torture, and then ultimately dying slowly over three hours in baking sun is a tremendous ode to His physical endurance.
When you think about it, truly think about it, it is absolutely amazing.
If you translate that level of endurance to running, He puts any ultra marathoner to shame. Western States winners? Yep. Leadville champs? Ah ha. Sorry folks, Jesus is physically tougher than all of you.
Running distance takes mental discipline and the ability to persevere through dire circumstances in hopes of glory. Jesus lived His life knowing that He had a trying prophecy to fulfill. Looking a horrendous worldly death in the eye, He marched forward right into it, knowing that is would be painful, but was essential for glory, forgiveness, and the good of humankind.
That’s crazy ridiculous mental strength.
And let’s not forget the no-quit will needed to tackle a 40 day / 40 night fast in the desert. The body would simply wither without a strong head and spirit.
Would Jesus be intimidated by mile 22 of a marathon? No way.
Though the first three areas of focus are speculative, this one is more real and evidence driven from personal experience. I’m sure many of you can attest to this… .
He is always there and always on time… even on the worst weather days.
He is a peaceful, thoughtful listener on those early morning long runs.
He provides very insightful advice on that lunchtime run when clamoring for a moment of clarity.
Not to mention the many times He pulls me from that intersection as the speeding car rounds the corner a bit too tight to the curb.
Jesus is the best running buddy you could ask for.
If only I could crack a beer with Him after a hard 10-miler. Or do you think He’d prefer a glass of Cabernet?
Was Jesus a runner in His day? Probably not.
Would He be now? I’d bet my gold, frankincense, and myrrh on it.