Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Running

Although Tom Petty said, "The Wa--AI-ting in the hardest part," I actually enjoy the waiting of Advent. Although Jesus was most likely born in March or April (since the shepherds were keeping watch o'er their flocks by night), Christians decided to steal a pagan holiday and turn it into a Christian one, and just like that, BAM! Jesus gets born in the middle of winter.

 Sure, he was born in Bethlehem, so it was probably chilly that night, but it almost certainly wasn't snowing. The daytime temperature was likely in the 70s. But that's neither here nor there. The point is that Advent is a time when waiting isn't the hardest part, though I'm certain that it was hard for the world as it waited for a Savior.

Much like today, people in the Middle East were killing each other constantly. Different empires came in and took over the region of Israel, enslaved or exiled its people, suppressed their parts or all of their religion.

Over two thousand years ago, the people of Israel were waiting for a Savior. A Messiah. Someone to rescue them from Roman oppression and occupation. They had a temple, they had synagogues, but they didn't have self-governance.

So they waited for some to save them. What they thought that person looked like, I don't know. Maybe someone coming in with chariots of fire, swinging God's blazing sword, with an army of angels en tow, ready to kick out the repressive Romans rulers.

But that's not what happened. Instead, the Savior was born in a barn. The first person to visit him were the poor field hands whom no one would believe when they came to town saying they'd seen the angels and the Savior of the World, laying in a feed trough, born to a young, poor couple. People would say they were crazy, or at least drunk, and couldn't have possibly seen what they claimed.

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That little Savior grew up. He walked the earth for around 33 years -- and he walked a lot of it. I don't know if he ran, but I do know he covered a lot of miles. He walked throughout Jerusalem, through Samaria, in Judea, through dangerous territory where many governmental and religious leaders who rather see him kill than preach and teach.

He also liked to go off by himself to pray. The Gospels often mention him going to a "quiet, solitary place" to pray. In fact, some translations say, "a lonely place.

I know he can relate to me, because he's walked these dusty, dirty, earthly roads. He sought out time to be lonely, by himself where he could pray. Part of why I run is to escape from the noise that bombards American life. So many things are calling for my attention: work,

And he did it perfectly. He knew when he needed to rest. He knew when he needed to help others. He knew how to teach while he walked, when he sat down, and in how he lived His life. People hated him because he did everything right. They tried to trap him in his words, they tried to trap him in his actions, but he didn't fall for any of it. He was always loving, always caring, and always desiring to bring people closer to God.

So they killed him. It's what we humans do. When we don't understand something, it makes us uncomfortable. And who wouldn't be uncomfortable by a guy claiming to be God?

The funny thing is, he didn't stay dead. You can disagree with me here, as this is somewhat of a leap of faith, though not as much in our modern times with all of our scientific "miracles."

So really, while the wait might be the hardest part, the wait is actually over. God sent his son, to be born on earth, to humiliate himself to our tiny little human level, to pay the price for all our mistakes. I don't understand the entire cosmic justice, but I think it's pretty neat.

Right now, I'm waiting for my leg to heal. I'll be waiting to run for at least three more weeks, but that's another story for another blog post.

Happy Advent!


Anonymous said...

Oh no! What happened to your leg? I'm still waiting on my glute to heal. :( I am getting very frustrated and desperately miss running.

TCHusker - Nate said...

It's a long and humorous story. Unfortunately, I will not be meeting all of my running goals this year. Oh well, something to shoot for next year! Peace!