This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on Nov 8, 2021
As many of you know, I am a runner. I have to tell you, as a runner, this is absolutely my favorite time of year. My outdoor thermometer registered 28 degrees when I went out this morning. What I love about this weather is that it is so still. I don’t want any breeze whatsoever blowing. The crisp air is invigorating. I always feel the cold in my chest and across my arms and I love it. I wear three shirts, gloves and a mask because I can’t breathe in that much cold air. I have to protect my voice for Sunday mornings.
This morning, I went down the tow path and it was so peaceful out there. On my way out, the sun wasn’t even up yet and no one else was insane enough to be out there, so I had the whole place to myself. It is such a simple thing, but it is absolutely my favorite place on earth. Just me and God and the sound of my feet hitting the ground. Makes me want to keep going because 4 miles hardly seems like enough.
Over the summer, I found a great deal on a commercial grade treadmill, which has been set up in my living room since July. I know before too long I will be running on it because at my age, I can’t afford to slip and fall on the slick ground. I have plenty of marks and scars from previous falls and that makes me understand how important it is to stay on my feet. I hit the ground a lot harder than I used to.
I think that one of the things that makes me appreciate those frosty mornings in November is that they are fleeting. They don’t last all year long and if they did, I probably would not appreciate them as much as I do. I know that it won’t be long before I will be watching the forecast for snow and, with all due respect to students and teachers, I hate snow with a white-hot passion.
What I want to encourage you to do is to examine your life for the things you have that you enjoy that are not going to last. Sometimes, it is far too late before we realize how much we love something or someone, and we don’t take every opportunity to soak it in. For so many years, I took for granted the fact that I would be young forever. Now that I am quickly approaching my late 40s, I can see that I need to really invest in what I enjoy because the time we get to have things is so short. It makes me appreciate things and people that I used to take for granted.
I say this specifically to you young people out there. Don’t wish your life away. Yes, I know, I was young once too (I have the pictures to prove it) and I thought that life was going to be great when I got to high school, got my license, graduated from high school, went to college, graduated from college, got a job… Yes, all of those things changed my life and mostly for the better but each stage helped me understand that there were parts of my old life that I loved very much that were not able to come with me after I reached certain milestones.
Always work toward the future with great anticipation but never at the expense of appreciating where you are. Yes, I have many things I am working toward, but at my age, I have learned that there are blessings every day, and it is very important to count them at every opportunity.
We are quickly moving toward the end of the year with three of the biggest holidays taking place in the next two months. I know there are things you are looking forward to, but don’t let this time of year be all about anticipation. Let it be about joy where you are. There is so much to be thankful for, and I don’t want any of us to replace gratitude with anticipation. It robs you of the gift of the moment. When we reduce the good times down to isolated experiences, then they are over far too quickly. Enjoy the entire ride and know that God gave it all to you to be a blessing. Don’t miss it wishing it was something else.
Go out and have a crisp morning walk and if you see a man in a mask running toward you, hope and pray it is me.