One of the unexpected things I learned to appreciate about running is the “runners culture.”
The Runners Culture
Runners have a culture all their own – language, customs, gear and camaraderie. What I love most about the culture is the runners’ “greeting.”
When runners encounter runners they ALWAYS acknowledge each other – its one of the rules of running.
In passing, they lift a hand to wave, or tip their cap, or offer a “Good morning” or an encouraging, “Keep going!” or the awesome words, “You guys are making it look so easy!”
Sometimes its just a smile.
Jocelyn and I seldom know the runners passing us but we feel a bit like family. It takes a runner to know a runner.
Sunday Morning Runners at Church
On a recent run I was reflecting on how a runner’s greeting on the trail is like a Sunday morning greeting at church.
Some people are too quick to dismiss a handshake and a passing, “Hi. How are you?” or “Good to see you,” or “Good morning” as simply superficial.
Or is it?
When runners pass on the trail we have no way of knowing how far each other has run, how tired they are or how much pain they are in.
We have no way of knowing how fatiguing it is to lift a hand, or gasp out the word, “Hi” or even to find the energy to lift their head and offer a simple, wordless smile.
Don’t be too quick to judge the power of a greeting.
Who knows what the other person who engages you has gone through the previous week and the resolve they’ve used to even get to church.
I know that for some, it can be the last Sunday they planned on coming to church.
“Will anyone finally acknowledge me?”
“Will anyone notice me?”
“Will anyone care?”
“Will someone even say ‘Hi’ to me today?”
On the Road
Our favourite place to run is along the river in our hometown of St Albert, Alberta. We always pass the Running Room, a St Albert store that outfits runners.
There is a mural painted on the river side of their building facing the running trail. It’s the image of a woman running on a trail. The caption reads, “ON THE ROAD.”
Keep On Running!
Showing up at church on a Sunday can be a way of saying to others,
“I am still running on the road of faith.
“I am still on the road of trusting God in the midst of my struggles.”
“I am tired but I am still on the road.”
“I am still on the road of loving Jesus and serving others.”
“I am still on the road as a part of this church family.”
The next time you are in church and you are coming towards a fellow “runner” – lift up your head, put a smile on your face, reach out your hand and give them a runners greeting.
Its worth a walk across the room to engage someone this Sunday. You never know whose race you just made a little easier.
APPLICATION: One of the most powerful things you can do is walk across a church foyer and engage people with a sincere greeting.
Pointes of View exists in order to help people grow their faith in Jesus, build healthy relationships and effectively live out their purpose.
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