So, if you could build muscle by reading, I would be one happy beefcake. Instead, I drag my sorry self to the gym and run in place while listening to music at a decibel meant to drown out my thoughts, which rotate between "Oh my gosh I'm bored," and "Oh my gosh I'm really bored."
The feeling just after a run is amazing, but the thirty minutes themselves ooze by at a rate only slightly faster than I am, or my name ain't Slowsky McGee. But, there are few things that make it way more appealing.
1) knowing other people have to run, too
2) a good show on the TV with at least semi-accurate sub-titles (though the really bad ones can be hilarious)
Which is why I love the World Cup! Though I'm a southerner these days, I was raised on soccer and fresh mountain spring water in the lovely Pacific Northwest. We had football there, but soccer always drew a bigger crowd.
So, every four years, I bust out my stadium chair and do a little spectating as some of the world's greatest athletes face off for their countries honor. And if I can time my gym visit to coincide with a match, I feel that much more a part of it. A solidarity with those men, halfway around the world, who are sweating at the same time I am.
It's inspirational on a lot of levels. These people have committed their lives to achieving excellence. They sacrifice physically to do so. There is no aspect of their lives that isn't in some way impacted by their devotion to a goal. When you think about training for four years to spend a mere six weeks in pursuit of your dream...wow. That's commitment. Imagine if they'd all said, in their various languages, "Naw, that's going to cost me too much. I think I'll just sit here and pick at my hangnail."
I think God gives us all a goal of some design. For most of us it isn't quite so grand as the World Cup and for some of us it may take much longer to achieve. But, as with these men, the pursuit of that passion, that calling, is the very best possible life we could lead. It makes me want to run.
So, thank you, God, for the World Cup, the extra motivation it gives me to hit the treadmill. Thank you for putting in each of us a goal that you will coach us toward, and that, when we strive for it, will make us the best version of us we can be. May we hear you, see you, feel you on the way, and may we find contentment and success on the journey. And maybe a free kick on the goal every now and then.