The "aha" Moment

I think I fell in love with running yesterday.  The first time I went out a few weeks ago I experienced an endorphin rush and felt like I was on top of the world.  Since then, I’ve been dragging my feet and feeling like I want to die.  But yesterday, something clicked or I crossed some threshold.  It was a beautiful day and I felt like I could run forever.  I’m supposed to be doing three minutes running/1 minute walking intervals and I found myself forgetting about the clock and running for longer than three minutes without even noticing.  And then some guy yelled at me from his car asking if I’m on a track team, so that made me feel good…
Anyway, I’ve decided that running is a great life choice and thought about why that’s so.  You know how people always talk about how great exercising is for you, and you just laugh?  Apparently those people are right.  Go figure.  Firstly, running can be extremely meditative and relaxing.  As a chronic worry wart, I need as much meditation and relaxation as I can get.  Secondly, it’s an amazing self-esteem boost to realize that you just ran 3 miles and you’re still standing (can’t wait till I get to 13.1!)  I’m generally hard on myself and tend to focus on the things I do wrong.  Running makes me feel really good about myself for some reason, so it’s definitely helping in that area.  Thirdly, running has no inherent purpose and there is no destination!  This is incredibly liberating.  I’m always planning, trying to accomplish goals and thinking about where I’m going next.  Somehow that all melts away when I’m running.  It’s just me and God, putting one foot in front of the other and paying attention to the ground so I don’t fall…(I’m completely serious about that last part.)
Anyway this got me thinking about “aha” moments like the one I had yesterday.  Sometimes we work really hard at something, like running, and it seems like we’ll never be able to run that half marathon.  Or we keep doing something because we know it’s good for us but we don’t quite understand why yet.  That happens a lot with matters of faith.  There are three levels to learning something: knowledge, understanding and wisdom.  For instance, I’ve been meditating a lot on the love of God lately.  We all know on some level that God loves us, whether we accept that love or not.  I’ve been trying to understand what it really means that God loves us completely and unconditionally.  Then I had an “aha” moment and it clicked.  I was thinking about my motivations for becoming a sister and how important it is that I do it out of free will and a desire to serve others.  Then it clicked: if I don’t become a sister, even though that may be God’s will, he will love me no less.  And that’s when I reached a new level of understanding – God’s love literally does not depend on anything we do.  He loves us simply because we exist.  Nothing I do can make Him love me any more or any less.  Wisdom means discerning what this understanding means for my relationship with God and others; the next level is having the wisdom to let this understanding transform how I act.

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