Most runners I know have Type A personalities. I call it A for Ambitious.
Some might call us obsessed. We get up early to run before work or before the family wakes up. We get grumpy if we miss more than a few days running. We have training goals, we have mileage goals, we have caloric goals. We track everything on Strava, we calculate paces and do complex math as we run. In races there are A goals, B goals, C goals. We obsessively check the weather and meticulously set out our gear before races. It’s all about drive, discipline, and dedication. We will even run through pain or injury, because we are just that commited. Or maybe we should be committed.
I am Type A to a “T”, except when depression starts to take over. Then my A for Ambition becomes A for Apathy.
Depression isn’t all sadness and gloom and doom. Well, sometimes it is, but more often for me, it’s a lack of attachment and caring about anything. All the things that give me joy and meaning are lost. “Why bother?” becomes a phrase repeated in my head and I don’t want to run (or do anything). But the thing is, running helps so much in the fight against depression. It’s a battle to tell your brain the truth, when it’s telling you a false narrative. I’ve been in the battle lately, though not fighting very hard.
Let me tell you how good God is. Sunday our sermon was on Psalm 86. This prayer of David hit me straight in the heart. All of it is very poignant, but I will highlight a few verses here.
- vs 1 Hear me Lord and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
- vs 4 Bring joy to your servant Lord, for I put my trust in you.
- vs 7 When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me.
- vs 11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.
Cry out to God. I hadn’t even done this, because, Apathy. I needed this reminder in print.
Ask God for joy! Ask!
Call to God, because He does answer!!
And then the heart of this prayer – Teach me and give me an undivided heart. – Wholy devoted, unbroken, thorough, exclusive!
This is another point where my spiritual walk and running coincide. If running makes my brain work better, which brings me closer to God, then I need to fight that Apathy by praying and putting on my running shoes. I need to transfer the drive, discipline and dedication – all that Type A stuff, to my relationship with God. Because He is faithful, I can call to Him. When my heart is undivided toward God, He does bring Joy! He does answer, and He does teach. He is so good.