That itself isn't strange, I try to run every day if I can. The fact that I ran at night, however, is a bit peculiar.
I haven't really run after sundown much at all since high school when I used to train with my dear friend Rich.
Rich came to our youth group years ago with a mutual friend of ours. He was an odd kid, but then again, I suppose we all were. It become known fairly quickly that Rich was an incredible runner. It was if God had built him to do just that. After only knowing Rich a few weeks, he made a strange proposition: "I'll train you to run if you teach me about Jesus" he said.
And thus began the season of "Rich and Ian's Late Night Runs".
We would often begin our excursions about midnight and just run for hours. We'd peek our head in the windows of closed storefronts and observe how creepy everything looked at night. We would run through neighborhoods and on main streets. We'd run through parks and simply continue on until we couldn't run anymore -usually much farther than I wanted to go or thought I could. All the while, Rich would ask any and every question he had about Christianity. It was a a remarkable honor and challenge to have to rethink through all the things that I had grown up believing my whole life, and learning to articulate them while huffing and puffing with exhaustion.
Rich ended up becoming one of my very best friends. When we would conjure up ridiculous and reckless ideas, we called each other first. Numerous times he would call me at three in the morning to tell me his mom was asking questions about his faith. We would sit and talk for hours about our struggles and victories; our moments of confusion and clarity. Years later, Rich's mom (who I have ben affectionately calling "Mom" for years now as well) accepted Christ as her savior, and I was one of the very first people she told.
Those evening runs are something I will always look back on with incredible fondness. They were ill-timed, imprudent, and probably even a littler dangerous. Because I was never a real runner, I never possessed the right apparel or equipment. Then, just like tonight, I would run in whatever I had which was usually dark blue pants and a black sweatshirt. Sometimes oncoming vehicles would see me, sometimes they wouldn't.
But there are times you need to simply make do with what you have. The temptation is often to blame our seemingly unfortunate circumstances on our lack, but our perspective is so very limited. It may seem foolish, and you may feel ill-prepared, but the outcome could be extraordinary. May we remember that reality in all that we do.