Running Man


picture from the blog post

A while back I read Ultramarathon Man. It is a great book, very inspirational, but left me feeling that Dean Karnazes is nuts err, maybe a little OCD. His current “project” is a run across America (find out more here). Well I say a run, 40-50 miles for 75 days in a row…

Last night as I ran I was thinking about Ultramarathon Man, there I was thinking an hour is a long time and he ran for 72-hours, non-stop (a record I believe). Specifically I was thinking about the bit in the book where he describes going running for the first time in about 15 years, his life reached a kind of crisis point and he found some gardening sneakers and runs – with a $20 bill in his shoe in case he needs anything, it was late into the night.

After about 15 miles he sits down by a drive through that looked closed, but realised was open:

My legs throbbing and cramped, my foot mangled, my body covered in a layer of sweat and road grime, I hobbled around the back to the drive-through speaker. I stomped on the cord with my heal. “can I take your order?” a tinny voice asked.

“Oh, yes!” I cried. “To start, I’ll have…” [read the book to find out what he orders!] “Please pay at the window.” [the tinny voice says.]

Digging the crumpled twenty out of my shoe, I strolled joyously to the pick-up window. The girl there didn’t look so happy, however.

“Sir, do you have a vehicle? You cannot order food from a drive through unless you are in a car.”

the debate continues  with dean saying

trying to keep the note of hysteria out of my voice “Let’s just make a quick transaction and we’ll be done with it. No one will ever know.”

“I am sorry, sir, but if we make an exception for you, we’d have to let everyone order from a drive through without a car.”

and she walks away from her window, the story continues with considerable debate, Dean desparate for food and the girl adament that the rules are the rules and cannot be changed. He eventually manages to persuade the next (and only) car to take him through the drive through in return for buying the guy’s late night snack.

Why am I telling you this? Well last night as I ran, it was clear – the things we do socially or theologically (Church?) can be like that; rules, rules and rules, with no flexibility when the need arises.

Some questions for you to ponder

How do we go about changing the view that rules are rules?

If you were starting out on a new project, how would you describe the “rules” so they could be changed as needed?


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