Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Controlled Falling

"Running is controlled falling." said Scott Jurek, world renowned vegan ultra runner, in his best-selling book, Eat and Run. What he meant by this is that the most efficient technique in running is to lean forward and let gravity work to your advantage. It's letting yourself fall forward without falling to the ground and controlling the force created by your weight and gravity to propel you on. And while it is controlled, there is a level of abandon, a level of trust in the downward force that makes for a more energy efficient run. There's an illustration and demo videos that explain this technique on the altrarunning website.

In Star Wars lingo, it's allowing "the force to be with you" and move you forward.

Last Sunday, we celebrated the Baptism of our Lord. As we remembered our own baptism, we were reminded of water, which is the primary symbol used in the sacrament. The baptismal ritual reminds us that water symbolizes "the cleansing of our sins, the quenching of our dry, thirsty souls and the ever-flowing gift of grace." Water also connects us with one another.

Water, especially bodies of water, is also a mighty force that is able to move things and objects. From a trickle, a rushing river or the constantly pounding waves of the sea, water is a force to reckon with. But it is also a force that we can harness and use to our advantage.

Fr. Richard Rohr in his Daily Meditation from October 31, 2014 writes: "I believe that faith might be precisely that ability to trust the river, to trust the flow and the Lover. It is a process that we don’t have to create, coerce, or improve. We simply need to allow it to flow. That takes immense confidence in God, especially when we’re hurting. Usually, I can feel myself get panicky. I want to make things right, and right now! I lose my ability to be present, and I go up into my head and start obsessing. I try to push or even create the river—the river that is already flowing through me."

"Faith is the ability to trust the river", to trust "the force", to trust gravity to move us forward.

As we begin this New Year, it is helpful for us to remember our baptism, particularly the gift of water and how it is a mighty force in our lives that we can trust. Perhaps a good New Year's resolution for us this 2015 is to allow ourselves to "fall forward" in a manner that allows "gravity" to move us on.

"May the force be with you!" and may you allow it to move you forward.

Your fellow disciple,

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