Hazard: Do not attempt this hill unless you run on a regular basis.
That is the virtual sign that Marshall tried to hang in front of my face before I followed him on his traditional Sunday morning run. Psh, who ever reads warning signs? Forty-five minutes and four miles later, part of me wished I had listened. Most of me was happy though. I made it all the way up a two-mile hill (though walking would be a more accurate description of my ascent than running) and I made it all the way back to the house. Alive, too! Without my heart exploding or my legs falling off.
Yesterday, I thought that eggs couldn’t taste any better than they did after accomplishing the difficult task of waking up. Today, I think they taste much better after a long run. While I was sitting at the table eating, I thought about what to call Marshall and Cathryn’s house. Calling it Marshall and Cathryn’s house is much too cumbersome. I settled on the “M&C Manor,” because I think it sounds pretty cool, and this place is definitely cool.
Marshall, Cathryn and I went to church together and I almost felt like I was worshipping in my home church. One thing felt different – there were no titles on the hymns, only numbers and verses at the top. The pastor preached on Jonah chapter four. It was a message about repentance. I was struck most by reflecting on what it is to repent. The pastor talked about repentance as, “the desire to be saved.” That spoke powerfully to me when I thought through it all the way. Repentance isn’t a wish to feel better, to escape punishment, or to do a better job figuring things out. It’s a simple thing, just saying, “I am going the wrong way and I know that now. Would you please guide me in the right way?” The king of Ninevah and his people did that after doing some horrible things, but Jonah took awhile after he had been pretty “good” for the most part.
Back at the M&C Manor, hamburgers awaited us. Fresh hamburgers. After lunch, I tried calling my family on Skype. It is wonderful to have technology that allows us to see each other’s faces from hundreds of miles away – when that technology decides to work. In this case, it did not, so I had to settle for calling with my cell phone. So old-fashioned.
After a short nap and some reading time, we went to bible study. We sang a hymn and listened to a mission report, then spent more time visiting. I enjoyed the chance to talk with Marshall’s older brother. He and I both think about things a lot. It was refreshing to talk to someone who has a similar perspective on, and approach to, life.
When we got home, Marshall and I got to work. We cranked through two-hundred pushups like they were nothing… I wish. That’s what Marshall did. He finished in eight sets of twenty-five push-ups each. I took a while longer but made it through in the end.
Despite the running and push-ups I did, most of today was spent in rest, worship, and fellowship. It was good to have a day that wasn’t filled with driving and adventuring.