Nothing is more practical than
finding God, that is, than
Falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.
These words attributed to Father Pedro Arrupe, SJ are the reason for the creation of this blog. The depth of this prayer was revealed to me when I was with my students at the Arrupe Leadership Summit directed by the Ignatian Solidarity Network. In the first session of the weekend, the presenter read this prayer aloud and challenged the students to consider what interests excited and impassioned them and would, consequently, shape how they lived their lives. Though this exercise was meant for the students, it did cause me to ponder and reflect on how I would answer the question.
In reflecting on my own interests, two topics surface that excite me and impact how I live: running and social justice. While these two realms may appear detached and unrelated, in my life they are intimately connected. In running, I am drawn into a sense of freedom as I find new trails and paths to take me new places (for better or worse). I have the ability to go where I please. However, in acknowledging how running makes me feel, I also come to the realization that not everyone in the world has freedom. Injustice and struggles abound in both likely and unlikely places. I am reminded of this truth daily, since one of the classes that I teach is social justice.
And while I speak of the challenges humanity faces, I always caution my students not to give up hope. A difference can be made in the world, especially when using our gifts, which for some of us includes running. The vast majority of races in which runners participate benefit charities and organizations that are working to end injustices. Every runner is a worker for social change! My hope is this blog will not only provide runners with insights and ponderings of a fellow runner, but also fan the flames within each of us to work for social justice. In the profound words of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, "Go forth and set the world on fire!"