Tim looked at his watch. He was running the same trail he had taken Wednesday, at the same time. He was hoping that the old guy he chatted with would show up again.
He’d been thinking about the old guy’s question: “What are you training for?” Because Tim wasn’t training for anything. He was just running because it would help him lose some weight and because it was exercise and because he liked having done it.
“So, do you have an answer?” The old guy startled him.
“I thought you weren’t going to show up,” Tim said. “I was just about to quit for the day.”
“Why quit? How did you know you were done?”
Tim shook his head. “I run til I feel like stopping. Today I kept going a little longer because you said something about seeing me.”
Tim laughed. “That’s my problem. I never run more than a couple miles.”
“So let’s go back to my question,” the man said. “What are you training for?”
“Why does that matter so much to you?” Tim asked.
“It’s the only thing that keeps me moving past my feelings. When I remember that I’m training and then remember why I’m training, I can keep running on any given day, and even every given day.”
“So how is that related to being godly?” Tim asked. “You tossed that out as you ran away the other day.”
“I regretted that statement as soon as I said it.” The old man smiled apologetically. “I should have said that running was part of becoming godly.”
“What’s the difference?” Tim said.
“Being godly suggests a condition you have. Becoming godly suggests that there is a process, that you can learn or train for it.” The old man paused. “And that’s why I’m running with you. I want to help you learn about training. In running and godliness.”
The old man started to speed up.
“What’s your name?” Tim gasped, struggling to catch up. “I’m Tim.”
The man slowed. “And you can call me Paul,” he said. “See you Monday.”