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  • Writer's pictureJack Hager

>My New Running Partner

>Though I’m older than dirt; I want to get older. So I exercise fairly regularly. I ride a stationary (or stationery?) bike, ride bike, and jog…doing more of the latter these days…


We have had a new neighbor dog for a while…last week he began running with me, sort of….at a distance. The first day I stopped and tried to get him to come closer, he’d dash in and out quickly, obviously afraid I was going to clobber him.

The next day he got a bit closer, but when I’d reach out to pet him…zoom…he’d evaporate in a cloud of legs and tail.

Then I went to the Kairos weekend and was gone four days.

This morning I set out on my job and, sure enough, he joined me. Went about a mile, crossed our main road into the graveyard (only because I can’t spell cemetary) and, at the top of the hill, I stopped, he dashed in, dashed out, paused, then slowly came in and let me pet him.

Now he is almost too close; as I continued the run sometimes he’d zoom in so quickly I had to hop (that visual is probably tough for you!) over him to avoid hitting the ground.

Got home and petted him and now can hardly get rid of the pooch.

Hmmm.

Maybe some spiritual application here? Trying to influence people with the gospel sometimes repels; they’ve been burned before by slash/burn/count/exit “evangelists,” conned by certain televangelists and their wanna bes; carved up by someone’s alleged list of dos-and-don’ts, and, boy, if you don’t agree with me and do EXACTLY what I say you are history…etc etc etc.

When we try to reach out to these folks they dash away….but if we keep the faith, keep trying to show love and acceptance and non-condemnation (sorta kinda like Jesus, who we say we wanna be like), eventually walls crumble down (yeah, I’m reflecting back on the Kairos weekend) and let us “pet” them by introducing them to the One who would rather die than live without them.

Yeah, the doggie reminded me of the gospel, as opposed to most (but not all) packaged ‘evangelism’ tactics.

And for that I thank the Spirit of God.

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