I went running today. But not just running. I also did a ton of stairs, sit ups, push ups and all kinds of horribly painful things. I wasn’t going to do all of that but someone motivated me. After running about 2 miles I realized I wasn’t alone. There on the UPS track with me was an older gentleman. And he was lapping me. A lot. I think he ran about 3 or 4 miles and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t human. He was a machine.
I watched him while I did strength training and he inspired me. My guess is that he was in his 60’s. He ran like a military man and he was focused. It was quite impressive and helped me to try harder. I appreciated him.
We never truly know who is watching us. Obviously our families are. Our children definitely are. But I wonder who else. Grocery store, car, yard, running, restaurant…people can see my mood, behavior, treatment of others. And I wonder if they are inspired? I’m positive the answer is not always.
When I was a pastor I was very aware of all the eyes on me. I lived in a fish bowl and so did my family. I loved serving people and ministering those in need. I enjoyed many things of full-time ministry in a church. But I also endured all the things you encounter when working with people. And when I resigned, I took a very long break from feeling obligated to be available for everyone.
I stopped caring if I was inspiring anyone. It was refreshing for a while in all honesty. I wanted to focus on my family and close friends only. So I did.
But I care now. I really do. I realize there are people around me constantly in my every day life. Someone may be watching me next time I run around the track at UPS. I’m sure they’re watching me as I wait in line to buy my Zesty Guacamole. I want to be aware of the people around me and my impact on them.
That running man has no idea that he inspired me in several ways. Thanks running man!