There's almost no snow on the ground this post-Christmastime in Minnesota. Though there's still Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and Christmas music decorating the halls of homes and businesses, Christmas is officially over. As a teacher, it's really nice to have an extended break and spend some time with family and friends. It's also a nice time to think about things bigger than myself--things more important than running.
One thing I enjoy about running is its safety as a topic of conversation (and blog posts). Though people might not like to talk about or hear about running, I've yet to be part of a hostile or argumentative conversation about it. However, running and urinary tract issues aren't the only things that interest me, and if you're uncomfortable or unwilling to read about issues of faith, feel free to stop here.
I've had my doubts, my disbeliefs, and problems with reconciling a broken world with a loving God, but despite my doubts, despite my own feelings of separation from the Creator, I also believe in a loving God. A God who would wrap himself in flesh and come to earth. It sometimes hard to believe in a loving God when it seems like if God loved us, or if there was a God, everything would be better. It's easy to imagine a perfect, or at least, a more perfect world, but imagining how things could be better doesn't make the existence of God, the existence of faith, and the person of Jesus any less real.
I've had a wonderful Christmas vacation so far, and it's an easy time to have faith. I've got to spend time with Laura's side of the family, time with friends, and time running. After the extended family dispersed on Christmas day, I enjoyed an unseasonably warm Christmas run on the paved trails of Rochester, and the next night enjoyed looking at Christmas lights while running through the neighborhoods near Laura's parents' house. Running, alone or with others, it's a great time for me to think about God and how many blessings I have. Here's some photos from my awesome Christmas:
Pre-Christmas hike at Quarry Hill Nature Center:
Getting Smartwool running socks Christmas morning:
Going for a Boxing Day nighttime run to see Christmas lights: