Lessons from running through the Bible

One of my goals this year resulted from the need to prioritize physical health. To get and be more healthy resulting in a change to how we eat and the prioritization of exercise. One of the means I’ve been using is running.

But in order to set a challenge that would make me not only stay committed to running but have a good time doing it, I determined to try to listen to the whole Bible in one year while I ran.

I came up with this challenge looking at the number of hours my Listener’s Bible ESV read by Max McLean  would take–a total number of hours at 72.  Doing some quick math in December of 2013, I realized I would need to run about 500 miles at the rate I was running. In December that seemed like a big (impossible) challenge considering I have arthritis and had not bP1040683-2een able to run back-to-back days.

After the first couple of weeks in January, I found I needed to turn of the playback speed to x1.25, in order to keep my concentration. At that playback speed, the voice still sounds normal and there are less pauses to allow my mind to wander.

So, I haven’t reached my 500 mile goal yet, but I did complete the listening of the entire Bible having run 393 miles (I sometimes listen while taking a cool down lap that doesn’t get recorded in my run tracking app).

A few things I’ve learned

  • There are always excuses not to run–I can come up with many reasons not to run
  • The first half mile to full mile still hurts
  • The only “runner’s high” I experience is the feeling of being done
  • It’s been great to run with my wife–gives us something to do together
  • I don’t do well in the heat anymore (times plummet)
  • Good running shoes are expensive, but worth it
  • Listening to the Bible without the text in front of me, it was fun to try to identify section and think through the flow
  • But it also showed me which books of the Bible I don’t know as well (I was particularly surprised by a few of the Major Prophets and 2 or 3 of the Minor Prophets–time for additional reading)
  • I was reminded how short the New Testament is in comparison and how little time most people spend in the Old Testament (I’m spending some extra time now in Deuteronomy)
  • I have been again impressed with the amazing grace of God on constant display through the Bible
  • I have been again impressed with the propensity of men to sin–including so many in areas of strength
  • I have been reminded that God’s greatest gift is to allow us to worship Him–and when we do make Him the focal point of our life, life is much better, even in difficulty

Postscript–just two weeks after completing the listening of the whole Bible, I hurt my leg and haven’t been able to run to two weeks.

Author: Steve

I love to study the Bible and I love to engage with others in learning. I had been privileged to do this on a regular basis through church ministry and through part-time teaching at a local Bible colleges. Helping individuals learn to feed themselves through their own study of God’s Word is joy-giving to me. Influencing groups to do life and church from a biblically grounded, theologically faithful perspective is my passion.

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