Richard and Andrew didn’t make me run.

“You’ve created a monster.” That’s what one of my colleagues told my marathon running friend, Richard, the other day.

Richard and I meet weekly, but not to talk running. But I usually know when he’s heading to Boston or another marathon site. I used to laugh when he talked about running ten miles before we meet on Mondays.

Andrew is our son of twenty-eight years. A few years ago he started running. He’d run ten miles in a gym or in the streets of Chicago.

runrobRob lives back east. He started riding many years ago, then running, then swimming. He has completed a couple of triathalons. Yesterday he ran his first marathon.

Andrew and Richard and Robbie never told me I ought to run. They just told me about their running as part of their lives. I watched them develop. I watched them accomplish pretty cool things.

Then I started running.

  • After I started, they never said, “Someday you should be as fast as me.” They celebrated my pace.
  • I felt free to share my gradual progress, knowing that they would cheer, not scold.
  • When I had an off day, they told me that resting was important.
  • When I wanted to push, they all told me that gradual was better, that slow runs were as helpful as sprints, that 3-4 days may be better than every day.
  • When I was interested in short term speed, they encouraged long-term habits.
  • They all offered advice only when I asked.
  • I think that they all know that my preferred learning style is to read, as much as I can, wherever I can. But then I put the books away and ask them how it really works.

I’m learning a lot about helping people learn to follow Jesus from watching my friends make a running disciple.

(Photo credit: Megin Hatch)

4 thoughts on “Richard and Andrew didn’t make me run.

  1. Rich Dixon

    Don Miller says church looks too much like school…everyone sits in rows and listens. He says Jesus did it like your friends. I agree. School isn’t a very effective model for disciple-making.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hugh McDevitt

    Jon, really glad to see you back writing again. Thanks for the thoughts on trying get Sabbath back into our lives. I’ve needed to hear that message a lot lately.


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