So, on Monday night, a colleague turned friend of mine convinced me to run with the “running club” at school (This is an elite group of runner-teachers who have been running together for the past 6 weeks). Before I get to the good part, lemme just back up a bit. We were doing our grades together late, after school on Monday evening. I started the conversation like, “So, I think about you guys [run club] in the afternoons.” She says, “You should come with us! It would be sooo much fun!” I replied, “I HATE running. It’s like, as soon as I start, I wanna know why I’m doing it to being with. I feel dumb running.” A few moments pass and she continues to encourage me to come out and run with them. I blurt out a few “no’s” over the course of the few dozen times that she persists. I even get to the point where I think, “What should I wear?” I quickly snap out of it, and presume my emphatic speech of “No-ness”. Fast-forward to 1530 the next day (Tuesday). It’s cool, and the humidity is low. There’s an overcast, which makes it a perfect day for running. Wait a minute! Running? I’m thinking to myself, “How the h*ll did you get yourself into this? You’re about to go running with a bunch of beasts!? This was NOT a good choice, dude. No, wait a minute. You got this. You can do this. Yeah, you can do it!” After my stretch (in which I did
n’t know what I’m doing, mind you), we wait for the final teacher to arrive. Then, I hear those dreadful words as if time, itself, stopped: “Alright, let’s go.” And we’re off. I start running. I’m chilling, at first, and then I begin to thaw. Quickly. I get to .25 mile and I’m thinking, “Man, forget this. I can’t take it!” So, I start walking, as I pant profusely. The pack of “beasts” trot on, holding a conversation as they run. I think, “WTF, dudes?! Seriously? A conversation? You guys are just showing off, now!” [I strategically left out the fact that I’m running with mostly women, and there are only three guys in the pack.]The pack’s conversations grow more, and more faint, until I seem to be the only one on the street: walking. I keep walking. And walking. And walking. Finally, I’m approaching a corner. I hear a dim voice yelling, “Come on, Brown. Don’t stop.” My walk becomes a bit more brisk. I can’t see who’s talking through the trees on the other side, as I approach the corner. “You got this, man. Come on, Brown.” It is one of the male teachers who is jogging in place. “I’m not gone’ leave you, man. You gotta keep movin’, bruh.” Finally, I reach the corner. He holds a conversation, essentially with himself as we jog (because my body was going green, conserving every cool breath, in which talking was not a part of the efficiency plan). He tells me his testimony as to how he came to know the Lord. It was quite refreshing. I knew that he was a different type of dude, but that jog really put things into perspective. As I shared with him my story, I wondered, “God, what did this guy see in me to silently give him permission to share with me such a thing?” I haven’t received an answer on that yet.
I’ll admit, it’s pretty strange how people feel it’s okay to talk with me about things that I think are rather personal. For instance: I was talking with someone I consider to be a good colleague, turned friend. First, for the life of me, I can’t understand how we became such good friends, considering I just met her a couple of months back. [Sidebar: It’s not what you think. There’s nothing romantic happening there. We’re totally just friends.] Anyway, I asked her a question about her culture, and the next thing I knew, she was giving me an insight about her life growing up. I’m not sure how, or yet, why, but things like that happen all of the time. I ask God often, ” Who am I that people are at ease when they talk to me? I’m not anyone special. I’m just me.” I don’t think God sees me that way. I think that he sees me as being His beautiful, handsome, caring, strong, child that He has fearfully and wonderfully made in His image. I need to be reminded of that, everyday.
Well, I should probably leave Starbucks now, and “mosey” on home. Until next time, PEACE!