A New Way to Run, A New Way to Live

What if there was a new way to live that would bring you and the people around you more ease, freedom, and joy than you’ve imagined possible? You’d want to learn about this!

For the last decade, I’ve been learning a new way to live with Jesus. Jesus calls it his “easy yoke.” In recent months I’m relaxing into Jesus’ rhythms of grace even more with the help of learning a new way to run.

A New Way to Run

I’ve been running long distances since I was 15-years old. I was taught to run with lunging strides and landing heel first. I’ve run thousands of miles and seven marathons that way. I was running the wrong way! I was running with the breaks on!

In the book Born to Run I learned about the Tarahumara, a reclusive tribe of Indians who live in Mexico’s Copper Canyons and are the world’s greatest distance runners. For centuries they have been able to run a hundred miles or more at a time, joyfully and without injury. How do they do this? Not the way I was running!

So I’ve been learning to run like the Tarahumara. I stay erect with a slight bend in my knees, lean forward from my ankles to let gravity pull me forward from my hips, and run with short, quick, flowing strides, landing lightly on my midfoot directly under my hips. It feels like flying! (If you’re a runner check out this one-minute video clip on “Good Form Running.”)

Pushing through Pain into New Ease and Joy

William James, the great 19th Century Psychologist, wrote: “Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.”

To help me “push through the obstruction” into a new source of ease, power, and joy I’ve been training. I set aside my sturdy, thick-soled running shoes and put on a pair of minimalist shoes that are light and have thin soles so that my feet can feel the ground. I’m training to run easy, light, smooth, and fast. It’s ironic that learning to run easily is hard! It was disorienting to change my habit. My feet and muscles got sore. But in time my discipline paid off and in my normal runs, I started running with greater ease and joy.

A New Way to Live

As I run my life’s race I want to fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, and keep in step with him, staying in his easy yoke. (Hebrews 12:1-4, Galatians 5:25, and Matthew 11:25-30. See also my study of Bible Verses to Run with Jesus.)

To help me train in this new way to live I wrote a new Breath Prayer from the Bible: “With Jesus be… Live freely and lightly.” (Paraphrased from Matthew 11:30, MSG) While I practice running in a form that is free and light I pray that God will help me to live free and light by staying close to Jesus in his easy yoke as I do all that I do — that’s what really matters!

Take a Breather — Try a Breath Prayer

I invite you to pray with me now:

With Jesus be… Live freely and lightly…

Breathe in… Breathe out…

Relax… Get in a flow with the Holy Spirit…

Draw close to Jesus, receiving all that he has for you… Follow Jesus, doing all that he asks you to do…

With Jesus be… Live freely and lightly…

Later you may want to try taking a run or a walk while using this prayer. (Using your body intentionally in prayer helps to engage your mind and heart with God.)  You’re seeking to be formed spiritually by the Word of God in order to become the kind of person who lives freely and lightly — free to love, light in spirit — in any situation.

More Breath Prayers

To pray a short verse or paraphrase of Scripture as a Breath Prayer is refreshing and empowering. It helps you learn to practice God’s presence all day and stay in tune with the peace of Christ. I’ve selected key verses of Scripture and developed step-by-step instructions for meditation, breathing rhythms, and prayer in “Breath Prayer Guides.”


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