The past three days have been pretty productive on the running front, but not so productive on the grading/research front. I feel like I am getting a little break here in the midst of chaos as I wait for Debbie to go through my revised (though still not un-messy) proposal. I used my break to work on my running skills.
I have been running in Ball Gym on the 1/12 mile track. For some reason, I can pretty consistently run a twelve-minute mile on that track. I am not sure if it is because I can check each lap to see that it takes a minute, or if it is the tininess of the track that makes it seem like I am not running so far, but I can honestly say I think I get a better workout running in circles. On the other hand, I can honestly say that my knees and ankles much prefer running in the very straight, very long outdoors. The constant turning is a bit of a strain on them.
I am looking forward to running five (nice) outdoor miles on Saturday, so I hope the weather holds up for it. My plan is to run to West Side Park and back. Once I finish all my training runs for this week, I will have run 18.5 miles this week—the most I have run in one week. The amazing thing is that when I figure in walking the dogs and going to and from places on campus, I will have run and walked over 32 miles this week. That’s almost five miles a day, which has been the goal since summer; however, I haven’t been able to go that far each day because of the weather. I am so excited that I made it this week! I should throw myself a little party.
As most of you know, I have added beer back into the diet. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. There is just something about beer that enables me to focus, and there’s something about it socially that enables people to say things to each other in a way they wouldn’t normally say them. I enjoy that. I had a Stone Ruination IPA tonight with Rachel at Scotty’s, and I remember why I love IPAs.
With a little research, I have concluded that beer, particularly beer with lots of hops, is a good self-medication for me. Hops contains a chemical (dimethylvinyl carbinol) that herbalists use to treat anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Since I have been drinking a beer a day, I feel a bit more at peace and my sleep has been pretty level as well. I haven’t had to get up and watch Roseanne at four in the morning for a while, which has been nice.
I have to admit that I am still a little torn about giving up the Nazarite Vow. As usual, I am a little hard on myself: Could I have tried harder? Should I have just waited a little longer before cutting my hair? Is this feeling of being at ease because of the beer all in my head? Is this simply one more thing I have failed at? And the biggest question of all: Is God disappointed in me?
I am not sure I am naïve enough to think that God is disappointed in me, but is there a biblical precedent in which someone breaks a covenant they’ve made with God where things don’t turn out very badly? I can’t think of one, but I also think that, typically, those situations are ones in which God becomes physically manifest in order to set the covenant with the person. And, no, I am not simply trying to weasel out of what I perceive to be a very serious commitment. I am merely attempting to make sense of my failure to complete this vow.
I sometimes think I should refocus my efforts and regroup, but I like the level of concentration I have when I drink a beer a day. I like that I can go socialize and not be the odd one out, which I guess is selfish and the opposite of what I should feel about breaking a vow. I am trying hard not to dwell on this, but it is obviously a struggle for me. Thanks for putting up with my wrestling over it.
While I am trying to (re)memorize this Sermon on the Mount, I think I am going to take this blog space to contemplate what each section means to me. So, this is your warning: if you don’t want to read my theological/Scriptural musings, don’t visit this site again until after Easter. However, I will also still write about my daily goings-on, so if you want to know about all that (how’s the running going? what did she eat today? how’s the dissertation going?) then keep reading. If you don’t care about my daily goings-on, and you hate theological banter/idea knocking about, you should probably pack it in for a bit, like for the next 45 days.
Also, there’s this:
I am thankful for Lent and the time it gives me to reconsider my faith and my relationship to the world.
Food: banana, juice, M&Ms and almonds, green tea, grapefruit, salad, apple, black bean burger with guacamole, salsa, and jalapenos, cooked mixed veggies, some onion rings, beer
Exercise: walked from Burris to RB, ran 3 miles, walked the dogs
Seeing the crowd, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. The disciples came to him and he began to teach them. He said: Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of me for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when you are persecuted, and insulted, and when people falsley say all kinds of evil against you for my sake. Rejoice and be glad because your reward in heaven is great, for they did the same to the prophets before you. You are the salt of the world. If the salt loses its saltiness, what is it good for. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a candle and then hides it under a bowl. Instead, the lighted candle is placed on a table and it’s light is shared by all those in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Do not think I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not one jot or one tittle will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but anyone who practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.