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The relationship between running and my faith in God is an important aspect of running that has become one of the loves of my life. I would like to try to describe it for others.

Imagine (as an example of how it could be) that you are out there running through the fields, and feeling like you are part of nature. You have left everything behind, and you are like St. Francis running through the meadows, with flowers around you, and listening to the birds as you run. The more you run, the more you appreciate the clean air, the beautiful trees and God's creations all around you.

As you run, you feel God's power within you. The muscles in your legs contract and expand, because God created them to do so. Your heart pumps faster so you can have enough oxygen in your blood. The sweat on your skin cools you down, and the adrenaline tells your body that it is time to work overtime. If you are fit, then you feel your body re-energise itself as you run, without you feeling any more strain. It is as though you are Forest Gump, living simply, and leaving it all behind. All you want to do is just keep on runnin', and runnin', and runnin'.

As you keep running, you pray to God, asking Him to keep giving you enough energy. The more you run, the more you pray, especially when the running gets tough. The stress and pain in your body keeps your mind focused on prayer, and the more you run, the closer you feel to God.

It isn't always that simple and that easy, but that is the way I imagine it, and it makes running a very spiritual experience for me.

It's like life. You're out there, and you don't know where you're going. You pray continually for guidance to help you get where you need to go. As God guides you, you feel more enthused to keep going, because you know you're on the right track even if it isn't always perfectly clear.

This is the sort of running I prefer. I call it Running By Faith. The result is that I feel much more alive after a good run, and I can use that enthusiasm about just being alive to serve God better.

(See also Having a Great Time: Wish you were Here!.)

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