Any faith that admires truth, that strives to know God, must be brave enough to accommodate the universe.“Palmer Joss” in the novel Contact by Carl Sagan
Last Sunday my brother-in-law completed the an Ironman 70.3 — 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run. He describes the race:
I had a great swim, which is good as it’s probably my weakest of the three sports. The ride was very hilly (rolling they said, yeah right). Aside from a sore right hip and right knee from mile 40 to the finish, the bike section felt good. The run was very challenging. The course was quite hilly and my hip and knee continued to bother me throughout the run. By mile 11 the pain in my feet overtook the pain in my hip and knee so I had something else to focus on :).
My goal was to complete the Ironman 70.3 in less than eight hours. My official finish time was 6:40:29.9. I finished 1,054th out of 2,500 athletes.
Sounds like a victory to me. But there’s a lot more to his story:
It’s hard to believe that less than six months ago God performed a series of miracles to help doctors find the aneurysm in my brain. 74% of people with berry aneurysms that bleed die, 8% have neurological issues; leaving just 18% who are functional survivors. Four months ago I was returning to work after spending nearly two months in bed following brain surgery. My first training run in late March was a 2-minute run after which I felt like I’d been hit by a mac truck. My training began in earnest about 11 weeks ago. Thanks for your prayers over the past six months for our family!!
I’m in awe!
The 23rd Psalm is a favorite of many, yet I suspect it doesn’t communicate as well as it once did. After all, how many of us are familiar with shepherds or even see sheep? If told to picture sheep, I imagine five or six woolly, white sheep being chased by Shelties in a fenced pen. After all, that was the last time I saw sheep and I was just driving by.
Bill Lollar at The Edge of the Wedge ran across an image of a modern shepherd that didn’t meet his expectations. Bill suggests we don’t recognize modern-day spiritual shepherds because they don’t meet our expectations.
I have question: how many of us don’t “care for sheep” because we have an antiquated view of shepherds?
Or maybe we just don’t recognize that we’re the sheep.