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A Mile Is Not A Short Distance

Paul Schneidmill

I love to run. It is one of my past-time passions. I didn't always care for it as I do now because, during my wonderful, almost 21 years of service with the U.S. Army, running in formation for P.T. (Physical Training), was not a request or a suggestion, it was a requirement. Due to the fact that running became something I was literally forced to do against my will on an almost daily basis, it didn't rate very high on my "Things I Love To Do" list during that period.

In 1993, at the impressionable age of 38, I woke up one morning with, what for me would be, a ludicrous idea: I would train for and run the Army 10 Miler. To make a strange story short, I did that very thing and shortly thereafter, my love of running was
developed. In these past 7 years, I have trained for and competed (more like participated) in numerous 5K's, 10K's, 15K's, 10 Milers, 3 Half Marathons, 4 Marathons, and even a few Biathlons in which swimming was not required.

No matter how much you read about running techniques or how much you train, I am convinced that it is like parenting; there's no exact science to it. I have days when I feel like I'm moving like a cheetah chasing a zebra across an open delta, and days when I feel like I'm moving slower than an "Airborne Shuffle" toward the door of a C-130 high performance aircraft, while in flight. (Sorry about that,...I had an 82nd Airborne flashback.).

Were I to write a book about running, it would be titled the same as this thing you're reading, because a mile is not a short distance. Jesus stated in His "Sermon On The Mount", that whoever will urge you irresistibly to travel a mile with them,
you should go with them two. (Matthew 5:41, paraphrase-mine.)

Wait a minute ol' Bunker Chaplain, didn't you just say a mile was not a short distance? Why should I, the reader, want to stretch that already strenuous request double the amount? First of all, I'm glad you've read thus far (I wasn't sure anybody was reading this stuff), secondly, a mile certainly is not a short distance, especially when we relate it to the Cross the Lord was forced to bear and drag up a rugged hill for you and I. The distance He covered in agony from Gabbatha to Golgotha, with that heavy weight on His bleeding and lacerated back, which would culminate in His excruciatingly painful death, bears this out in certainty.

For more than a mile, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, and the King and Lord of Glory, trudged out of the city of Jerusalem and up a hill to die for all mankind. It was not a short distance. As distances go, in relation to measure, scripture shows that the Apostle Paul prays that Christ, the Living, Resurrected, no longer dead, Lord, would live in our hearts by faith, and that we, being planted and firmly situated in His love, might just be able to understand with all sincere believers, the width, length, depth, and height (of His love for us), and to know assuredly the love of Christ, which surpasses human logic and reasoning. (Ephesians 3:17-19, paraphrase-mine).

No, a mile is not a short distance, my feet can tell you that. However, "travel" this trail of thought for a piece, if God the Son, could go that distance for us, and pay the price He paid in doing it, shouldn't you and I be willing and able to go the "extra mile" for our fellow man?

©Paul Schneidmill