Running and Reading the Scriptures

This post is by Garrett Smith.

I got married and became a runner.

Running is not what I was expecting but I went from making fun of those who ran, to running multiple times a week, even through the winter. I was told marriage changes who you are for the better but this is not what I imagined. And it didn't stop with running, now I own a road bike, a gym membership, and shiny new goggles so I can swim.

What is going on in my life? How did this happen? When I get together with my in-laws guess what we talk about. . . Running!

They even plan vacations around races! Running is not a vacation! That is right, we drive somewhere not to sit on a beach but to run. Five years ago my in-laws were not runners, they were active but this wasn't who they were. They talked about other things, normal things. So what happened?One day one of them signed up for a 5k. That is all it took.Now people are loosing weight, watching what we eat, spending hours preparing to enter another event. Now I should say right here that none of us are the fastest runners, we are all very average. We all start a race knowing we are not going to be the fastest but we start anyway and then we talk about the race for the next day, week, month, even years. We are all converted runners. Little by little, step by step, mile after mile we have all grown to enjoy running in one way or another. There are days when I do not want to run, it is the last thing I want to do. I complain, I stomp my feet, I pull the covers back over my head hoping it will all go away. But guess what, it never does. Those miles sit out there waiting for me to check them off. Sure I can avoid it for a little while but it makes it so much harder to start again. Doing a little almost every day is so much easier than doing a lot every so often. (That concept took me about a year to figure out.) And usually what happens, once I am a couple of miles into a run and I glad I started. I have spent a lot of time passing mile after a mile in my running shoes, on my bike, or in the pool and all of this gives me time to think. I reflect on almost every aspect of my life including the gospel.

One aspect that has repeatedly come to mind is that the more of something I do the more I like to talk about it with others. Sometimes it takes a great deal of effort to close my mouth especially when I have performed exceptionally well in a race.

I have found this true with the gospel as well. When I am deeply involved in a scripture story or preparing for a lesson guess what I talk about with others. That is all I want to talk about and it really is all I want to think about. That is one way I believe to have an “eye single to the glory of God” just study a little bit more.

What do you think Enos’ father spent time doing? In Enos 1:1-3 we read “he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord . . . and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.”

What do you think Alma the Elder frequently talked about? In Alma 36:17 Alma the Younger shares his conversion saying, “And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of on Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world."

What did the Nephites spend time doing? In 2 Ne. 25:26 they share, “And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.”

What did a young Joseph Smith spend time doing? In JSH 1:8 he wrote, “During this time of great excitement my mind was called up in serious reflection and great uneasiness” He also shares of how he went to many meetings with many different religious groups. In verse 9 he says, “My mind at times was greatly excited, the cry and tumult were so great and incessant.”

President Packer in a recent conference address shared an experience where he was working with Elder S. Dilworth Young of the Seventy. Elder Young asked President Packer to speak with a stake that was “struggling with tensions and difficulties among the members.” He relates: “I asked President Young, ‘What should I say?’ He answered simply, ‘Tell them to read the scriptures.’ I asked, ‘Which scriptures?’ He said, ‘It really doesn’t matter.’”

Want to become a better runner? Spend a little time as often as you can doing a little bit of running.

Want to become a better member missionary? Want to become more fully converted to the gospel? Want to make it easier to talk to friends about the gospel? Want to grow closer to our Heavenly Father?

From my experience and study the answer is the same spend a little time every day in the scriptures and it really doesn’t matter where.

1 comment:

  1. Great inspiration, Garrett! Good to hear from a fellow Cache Valley (Utah) friend!