During my run this morning I happened to be going in the direction of the sunrise. It was 6:30am as I left my house and began to travel down the quiet snow covered road. Within the first few miles, the sun started to peak out above the horizon. I watched in awe as the colors of the sky began to change from a dark inky blue, to a pink and orange glow. As I watched this amazing event that takes place every morning it got me thinking about faith, and of all things, the existence of a God.
You see, I am very logical person. I was raised a Christian, but as I got older and started thinking more and more about the stories that I heard growing up, I began to question the existence of all of these things that I was told were so. I mean really, Immaculate Conception, turning water into wine, walking on water… modern day science has no explanation of how these things could happen, and the logical, scientific mind can easily write them off as being bogus! Although I really wanted to believe that there would be a place for all of us when we die and that there was a man upstairs who loved me unconditionally, it was becoming harder and harder for me to convince myself that this could be true.
What I have found in the last few years, is that if you even have the tiniest amount of faith left, it can work in mysterious ways. In 2006, my husband was deployed to Iraq. He was responsible for escorting military convoys throughout the country. Some of his missions would last for days and I remember waiting for an email or phone call to confirm that he was still alive. Sometimes, I would not hear from him for days, and those were the times that I talked to God. I felt that even if I was a skeptic, it did not hurt to have a conversation with the only being that could possibly keep my husband safe. I remember being so deep in the conversation that I thought God was in the room with me, and these were the times that I felt the most comfort. Maybe, there really was a God and he could bring my husband home?
My faith has also been strengthened by participating in endurance events. When you really stop to think about what it takes to do an Ironman, or run 50 to 100 miles, your fitness will only get you so far. I personally believe that in order to successfully finish an event of this nature, you have to look beyond yourself. I hate to say it, because I used to be the person that thought this, but no man is a rock by himself! If you really want to tap into a source of power far greater than what you yourself possess, you really need to have a conversation with God. In fact, I am starting to think that one of the main reasons I continue to push the endurance envelope, is so I can inch my way closer and closer to this being that I could never begin to understand.
Faith is a funny thing, and sometimes in life, you just need to believe. I still don’t know what I think about Jonah and the Whale or the story of the loaves and the fishes, and I don’t know if I will ever be a regular in church. What I can say, is that every Sunday when I leave my house for my long run and look towards that sunrise, I will begin a long conversation with a very powerful being that I can now say… I for sure… believe in.