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Thoughts While Running

Made it up about 0600 local time to run Dallas Road along the ocean this morning. Here's the live webcam from the path. While I was waking up and getting ready to run, I read again in Brennan Manning's Abba's Child. Bob, the counselor guy at Sonscape, gave a copy to Kim, but I have been reading it off and on since then. I love Manning's stuff because while I am not a recovering alcoholic, I am a recovering religion-holic like him. (Baptists and Catholics have more in common than you think when it comes to "keeping the rules" as the basis of our acceptance of God's love and of each other and love of ourselves.)

This morning I read, "We give glory to God simply by being ourselves." (2002, 52) His statement followed Henri Nouwen's encouragement to a friend, "My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being--'You are the Beloved.'" Our true self is the one God declares loved by His Son, Jesus. Our impostor, or, shadow self, depends on the words of others and our achievements to decide our worth. Manning's words settled into my heart as I put on my running clothes, shoes, and headed down Montreal Street to connect to the path that paralleled Dallas Road and the ocean.

You have to love towns like this one who care for the natural beauty of where they live. The Dallas Road waterfront walkway "fronts the Strait of Juan de Fuca, offering views of passing cruise ships and freighters, wind surfers getting air time and dogs being walked." I saw all of that but the wind surfers. Yes, more cyclists, too; singles on the way to work or school and a peloton of riders on a training ride to somewhere. I'd run or ride every day if I lived here.

After going a little over 30 minutes out and on my way back, I went down one of the stairs to the rocky beach and walked out onto one of the many outcrops along the shore. I prayed, listened, and surveyed the shoreline. About 50 meters further out to sea I spotted sea otters feeding among patches of kelp and sitting on the rocks. As I watched a couple on a rock, one jumped on the other, and they began to wrestle and play. (No, I know what that looks like.) They were like two kids playing in the backyard. They tumbled around and after two or three minutes they jumped back into the sea and joined the other otters feeding there.

I had two thoughts as I watched them play. The first was, "No wonder John Trent labeled the "i" of the DiSC profile system at "otters," playful, outgoing, and gregarious. Kim and Summer are that personality type, and they fit the profile. (Storey and I have more D and C in us. We are more like Lions and Beavers.) Otters are playful people-people.

My second thought was "They are being themselves." As they went about the daily routines of survival, they stopped and played. In that, they glorified God by being who they are. They had no clue or care I was watching or that anyone else was around. One of them decided to jump on the other, and the fun began. After a while, they got back to surviving, and life for them was good AND God was glorified from my perspective.

Maybe Manning was right. When I am more myself than what others want me to be or who I imagine I am supposed to be, I have more of a chance to bring attention to God than any other way. Here it's easy to be me. Nobody knows me except Kim and she has miraculously decided to love me like I am. We'll see what happens when I get back home. I'll try being more playful during the routines of life. Not sure what that looks like yet--jumping on Troy's back as he's walking done the hall to the office? Or, spraying people with a water pistol as they come into the buildings? I don't know. See, this will be hard, but I'll give it a try.

How about you? Give being yourself a try no matter the audience today. You'll have some fun and bring glory (honor, fame) to God while doing it.