Saturday, November 11, 2006

"Mind & Spirit" -> Epilogue: On Happiness and Ted Haggard and Richard Dawkins

My epilogue to the post below starts off with this very unpleasant picture of pain. I wrote the post below before I went for my weekly run. My wife normally bakes me a loaf of bread so I can go running and come back to a hot loaf of carbohydrates.

I did something that I haven't done for a decade. I run on trails, and I happened to catch my foot about 1/4 mile into my run and I fell down. My left arm and left palm had the brunt of it, and immediately I had the tell tale shock of dirt, gravel, and blood.

Now, when I got up, I thought "maybe I should just quit." However, I decided to press on.

As I ran, I thought to myself "Why, Lord did you allow me to fall?" And I had a vision come to my brain of the post that I had just made. In the same way that the Jesus taught us by parables, I think the Lord teaches us with examples of life's experience.

Think about it. I am on the blog "preaching" to you:

1. Be financially prudent
2. Eat the right stuff
3. Be athletic in your mind and your bodies

Now, you could look at me and say to yourself, "Man, that guy really hurt himself by running. What was he thinking. He looks bad. His arm is hurting. He has blood on his shorts. There is no way that I am running. Instead of being healthy, this guy hurts himself. What a hypocrite."

Yet, this would be really stupid for you to do. Because I stumbled and fell does not mean that what I have tried to teach you is bad. To the opposite, if you only knew me and how much my body has changed because of a disciplined approach to exercise, you would clearly be a believer in some of the principles that I "preach."

In the same way, you may want to judge Christianity by the falling of one man. This would be a silly thing to do. You can't just look at one failure and judge a life style.

Now the analogy goes further: I was very tempted to "pack it in" after my fall. As a matter of fact, I started the run feeling just slightly under the weather. I really didn't feel like running today, and the fall on top of this made my desire to quit very, very high.

However, after getting up, I said to myself, "well, I am going to try to run for just a bit, and see how I feel."

There is a popular Bob Carlisle's song:

We fall down, we get up.
We fall down, we get up.
We fall down, we get up.
And the saints are just the sinners
Who fall down and get up.

The Saints fall, but by the Grace of God, we get back up.

By the way, my time for the loop was a yearly personal record by 1.5 minutes, which shows the fall does not determine how we will finish.

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