Living in a large metropolitan area is great for running since there are many well-organized, fun, and inspiring races. The energy in the moments before a starting gun is wonderful. Everyone is lined up and a bit jittery, anxious to start an event that has been a focus point for at least a few weeks. If I trained well, the start is exhilarating and I get the runner’s high. This is different from the time when most people get that extra burst of energy, but since the struggle for me is getting motivated, the start of a race is a reason to celebrate.
Another time when I get a runner’s high is when I am far from the crowds and running in the wilderness. Periodically, the beauty will be overwhelming and I’ll become profoundly aware of God’s presence in my life. Life moves so quickly and rarely do I slow down enough to think, “How fortunate am I to have good health and a loving family?” These are strange and humbling moments because they serve as reminders of how little one person is in the larger world. In all time and in all space, we are nearly nothing.
Is this realization depressing? I hope not, but it certainly puts life into perspective. St. Teresa of Calcutta, better known as Mother Teresa, said “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”