Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Summer Beach Read

A few weeks ago, our family took a vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We spent a week at Duck, famous for Duck Donuts. The little town is just north of Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers made history flying their first heavier than air plane off the sand dunes just after the turn of the 20th century. For us it was a joyful time playing with our kids and grand kids and generally hanging out with our family. Fern and I love making those kinds of memories.

     With time to relax, I indulged in a summer beach read, Haruki Murakami's What I Talk about When I Talk about Running:A Memoir. The book is a recollection of various events related to the intersection of his two passions, running and writing. I found the book both insightful and sad. It was insightful because it gave insight into a disciplined life. It was sad because of the admission that life is passing all too quickly, and for him there is no hope of a life beyond. I would like to draw your attention to a few of the positive insights from his memoir. Murakami's wrote:

     - "The gym where I work out in Tokyo has a poster that say, 'Muscles are hard to gain and easy to lose. Fat is easy to gain and hard to lose.' A painful reality, but a reality just the same." This is a nice reminder of the importance of staying disciplined, eating well, and getting sufficient exercise and rest. It sounds like Galatians 6:7 and the principle of sowing and reaping.

     -"There are three reasons I failed [In a particular race]. Not enough training. Not enough training. And not enough training." This, too, is a good reminder of seeing and learning from the obvious. Training and discipline are integral to every accomplishment in life. In 1 Timothy 4:7, Paul admonished Timothy to "train yourself to be godly."

     -"This is a trite observation, but as they say: If something is worth doing, it's worth giving your best--or in some cases beyond your best." Again, this is a nice reminder of the importance of doing any and all jobs well. Paul reminded us in Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, work heartedly, as for the Lord and not for man."

     Well, these "nice reminders" are a few of Murakami's thoughts. I hope you find them inspiring interesting. The book helped motivate me to be a better writer, and a better runner.