Yesterday, I got caught. At church, no less! Doing what I never want people to see me do.
I was wogging.
Yes--wogging. That combination of walking and jogging that's kind of embarrassing because you're just telling yourself that everybody can see how out of shape you are--so out of shape that you can't just flat-out run for miles and miles nonstop. Click here to learn more about wogging.
And I got caught wogging. Embarrassing!
"How far do you jog?" she asked. I told her that I didn't measure it--I was just jogging til I couldn't jog anymore and needed a breather, and then walking until I caught my breath and could jog again. (Later, I measured the outer perimeter of our parking lot at .2 miles, not counting the entrance and exit lanes, so that gives me a pretty good gauge for future wogs. All I have to do then is count laps. I don't want to be caught wogging again, unable to answer the most basic of questions about it.)
The person who caught me wogging is a runner herself, and was actually very encouraging to me. I shared with her something that I have learned--not from physical exercise, but from the spiritual exercise of meditation. Pulling out my smartphone, I showed her the scripture that I had been meditating on while I wogged.
Yesterday's scripture was from our daily readings. It was 1 Corinthians 3:16-18:
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Today's wogging meditation was also from our reading. It was 1 Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-18:
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed...16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troublesare achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Those are two very good meditations for wogging! The first has the idea of being transformed (which is the point of physical and spiritual exercise). The second talks about endurance and focus--two things that are necessary in spiritual and physical workouts.
So, how do you meditate while walking or running? Get a rhythm going so that your feet and breaths become regular together. Click here to learn more about the rhythms and ratios of breathing and stepping. Once you've got your rhythm, add verses of scripture. You'll find yourself grouping words together, and sometimes omitting words, in order to create a cadence. It's okay to alter scripture some, to suit this purpose. Just like the military uses cadences (jody calls) in order for sodiers to pace themselves while running, you can use verses of scripture. Speak them quietly on the inhale, speak them louder on the exhale. Who knows, you might even discover a rhyme or two...such as
Though outwardly we're wasting away,Inwardly we're renewed day by day.
With a passage of scripture the length of 1 Corinthians 4:7-9, 16-18, I stick to a verse at a time (or even a part of a verse), repeating it over and over. Then, I change to a different verse after completing one lap. If I weren't doing laps, but running a long course, I'd just change verses every few minutes or so. Keeping the verses in my pocket lets me pull them out whenever I want, to take a look at them.
in our prophetic scripture this morning, Nahum 1:15a says:
Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!
This is a picture of a runner, with good news of peace in his mouth. Sorta seems to fit, doesn't it? If you're a runner or walker, why not try making it a spiritual exercise as well? Add a short bit of scripture to your routine, and repeat it with each step, with each breath. Peace and good news will come to you, and you'll be energized by it, to be a source of peace and good news to others.
*Scriptures are taken from the ESV.