In today’s reading ‘the time was approaching’ for what would happen, so Jesus ‘resolutely set out’ for his next destination.
As a runner I particularly enjoy organised runs — from mass participation races, to smaller community based events such as ‘parkrun’. There are differences between running in an event, and training solo. An event has a designated start line and starting time, and I need to allow travel time, as well as time to get myself prepared and ready to run.
There have been times when my character flaw of running late for things has meant that I have missed the start of a race, had to join in late or not do it at all. I haven’t noticed that time was approaching, or have not set out ‘resolutely’ to get there in plenty of time.
As a solo runner, you can just pull on your trainers (and clothes comfortable to run in) and step out of your front door, or head to a nice area like a park or trail, and go running for as long as you like or are able.
However, both individual runs and communal events share this — the hardest part is getting over the threshold. As Lao-tzu is credited with saying: ‘The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Many runners seem to share the experience of getting running gear on then failing to get out of the door for a run — and another runners’ saying is: ‘The only run you regret is the one you didn’t do’.
Forgive us when we miss an opportunity
or prompting from your Spirit:
Give us eyes to see
ears to hear
when such days, times, chances are approaching
and to be resolute
to cross the threshold
to go out into your world
to begin our journey
of a mile
or a thousand
and not to turn back
or make excuses.
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; 53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 Then they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ 58 And Jesus said to him, ‘Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’ 59 To another he said, ‘Follow me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, first let me go and bury my father.’ 60 But Jesus said to him, ‘Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.’ 61 Another said, ‘I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.’ 62 Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’