I was grateful Lystra Tea Company opened early. I needed some coffee. And some counsel.
“You look awful,” Tim said. He filled a glass with water and a mug with coffee.
I laughed. “Six miles does that to you,” I said. “I’m trying to enjoy running, but I’m guessing that it will never show on the outside.”
“It does smell on the outside,” Tim said. “But talk more about the idea of enjoying running.”
“Running isn’t something that has ever been fun for me,” I said. “Over time, I have learned the value of it, and I’ve never regretted a run, and I’ve been grateful for the capacity, but I’ve never had fun while running.” I sipped my coffee. Medium bold.
“And I learned that when I am running and thinking, anything that makes me anxious can make me stop running.”
“Anxious about your run?” Tim said.
“Nope,” I said. “well, sometimes. But really, anxious about anything. My chest tightens and my legs get heavy if I start to think about my list of projects, or about how long the run is taking, or about what isn’t getting done because I’m doing this, or about…”
Tim held up his hand. “That’s not healthy,” he said. “It’s not how you are invited to live.”
I shrugged. “It’s what I’m good at. It’s like I’m gifted at seeing what goes wrong.”
Tim shook his head. “I understand, but I don’t think God gave you a gift of worry, or a gift of hesitation. My mentor wrote me about that. ‘God didn’t give you a spirit of timidity,’ he said. ‘But a spirit of love and power and self-control.’ I think it’s time we talk about how to start living in those gifts and finally giving up fear. And Lent is a perfect time.”
“Is it okay if I go shower first,” I said.