Run No. 6 – It all started in Scotland

turn it around

Time 41’ 50”                      Total Distance 7.3 km (4.54 miles)

Lagging it down this morning!

Which I love; I absolutely love running in the rain.

I suppose it reminds me of how I started running.

I was an English boy in a Scottish school, if that were not enough to make me unpopular, my father was also a local vicar!

In PE we always played football – hail, snow, rain, summer, winter whatever, always football. As they say, it is not a sport but a religion in Scotland!

Partly due to my deep unpopularity and partly because I wasn’t much good anyway, no-one would pass the ball to me, which, in football, pretty much closes down your options for involvement!

So they used to stick me in goal and then berate me when I let a goal in.

Standing in the freezing rain in Scotland, the wind howling across the pitch, dressed only in nylon shorts and top, and expected to dive to save the ball on a red ash pitch – well, let’s just say it didn’t appeal!

Fortunately, the one other sport we did do was cross country. Which was so hated and detested by the boys (because it wasn’t football!) that it was used as a form of punishment. I discovered that the PE teachers would actually let you do a voluntary cross country instead of football – salvation!

Instead of 40 minutes of boring, freezing, torture laced with verbal abuse I could do a 1 and 3/4 mile cross country run and spend the rest of the period having a leisurely hot shower! Fantastic!

I wasn’t particularly good at running, but I was tall and lanky and could get into a rhythm I could sustain for a long time. Of all those who really ran at school, I was probably only just in the top half.

But I enjoyed it. I liked the solitude. I liked the rain.

And here I am, 40 years later, still running, still enjoying the solitude, still enjoying the rain.

Running has been a sport I’ve always been able to practice. Even in rural France where the options for sport were minimal – I could run. Even when I’ve been financially poor (which has been most of my adult life) I’ve still been able to run.

Running has served me well and I’m grateful.

It strikes me that had I not been unpopular at school, had I not been unskilled at football, had I not been discomforted by the rigours of the Scottish climate; then I might never have started running.

In which case I would have missed out on so much that has really positive and a blessing in my life.

The Christian faith holds this dichotomy at its heart – that good can come from evil.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 NIVUK)

You meant ·evil against me, but God ·turned your evil into good (Genesis 50:20)

There is no such thing as wasted suffering from a Christian perspective.

In Jesus Christ all our sorrows are redeemable somehow.

Everything can be turned around, can become positive.

If not in this life, then certainly in the next, as our grace filled and grace-fuelled responses to hurtful and difficult circumstances will be honoured by God and have their full reward, bare their ultimate fruit.

The therapy of grace – God’s redemptive option for life.