He was just passing through.
Sadly I'd only have a few minutes to speak with him.
Still, like all the people God places in my path,
what he had to say was important.
I came home from shopping at the grocery store to find
a man sitting on my steps.
As I stopped in front of my home to let on coming
traffic by, I kept looking at him. I had no idea
who he was or why he was there. I could clearly see that he appeared exhausted as
he wiped the sweat off his brow. I would guess he was in his 50's. Dressed in
shorts and a Nike t-shirt and running shoes, I assumed he was exercising. But it was one of the hottest days so far this
summer and the humidity was thick and heavy.
I slowly pulled into my driveway and as I approached where he was sitting, he looked up at me.
"I'm sorry," he said. "I really needed to sit down."
"That's fine." I replied. "Take your time."
I quickly parked my car and went in to get a bottle
of water for him.
I startled him when I opened the front door.
"Here, please have some water," I offered.
"Thanks," he replied as he took a few slow sips.
"You know I admire the runners I see passing my house
regularly. But isn't this a really bad day to run?"
"I know that now." he said smiling. "I really just
started this running thing. I need to get in shape."
I walked down the steps and sat with him for a few minutes. I asked about how long he runs, if he is also
Then I asked him the real reason "why" he runs.
"I have come to discover that real runners don't do
it just for the exercise. There is a place that running
takes them. A "zone" for a lack of better words," I said.
Then he set the bottle of water down and looked at me.
"That's remarkable. I really began this because I needed
to stop, get away from all the stress in my life."
"That's funny. You began running because you had to stop. You are in essence running away from the things that
are causing you stress. I love it!"
"At the end of a long day when I was sitting in my living
room trying to sort things out in my mind I heard, "Stop.
Give a portion of your time to just listen, not think."
"So running came to mind?" I asked.
"Yes. I think people can do the same, gain the same results
in that area by walking, too. But, for now I am running."
Then he stood up, thanked me for the water and walked away.
Of course, I know this was more than coincedence. You see, I
spend too much time thinking. Even while watching a movie,
going for a drive, or simply sitting on my porch, my mind
I have no idea who that man was. I have never seen him running
before and something tells me I will never see him again.
What I did "see" was the message and it will stay with me like an old
friend. It is up to me to act upon it.
I believe the answers we seek are inside us. People and events
trigger the proper response, but we all too often ignore them.
We all know the answers to our challenges in life. We need to stop
giving life to our challenges and begin to bring life to the answers.
What lies dormant inside will astound you.
Permit me to share this quote with you:
"The resting place of the mind is the heart. The only thing
the mind hears all day is clanging bells and noise and argument,
and all it wants is quietude. The only place the mind will ever
find peace is inside the silence of the heart. That's where
you need to go." -- Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
You can't run from your challenges. They will surely be there when
you get back.
"Stop. Give a portion of your time to just listen, not think."
"I believe in you!"
-- Bob Perks (inspirational author and speaker)