Friday, April 15, 2011

Great Excuses…

This Sunday is a high holy day in Vancouver.  Tens of thousands of people have been preparing for April 17, anticipating it, eagerly awaiting it.  Because this Sunday is the Sun Run.  Oh sure, it also happens to be Palm or Passion Sunday, but for at least 50,000 runners, joggers and walkers, from babes a couple of months in age getting pushed in a stroller to fit octogenarians, more community will be found with feet beating on the pavement and slugging Gatorade after the race with a gaggle of runners than in a coffee hour after a worship service.
So it occurs to me how similar our spiritual disciplines are to the discipline of running.  Whether you’re talking about prayer or getting to the gym, the “rebellious dogs” are eager to pull you off the path so they can smell this bush over here or that lamp post over there. 
When I played on the basketball team in Jr. High School, Jose Agarre often missed practice.  He was a good player, and fast.  But often gone.  Every time, though, he had a great excuse.  I think the coach actually enjoyed anticipating the creative excuse Jose would bring in this time. 
There is a fine art to excuses.  We’re good at them.  Often we don’t even recognize an excuse when we use it and are offended when someone else names it for what it is: an excuse, a rationalization.   “Really?  I thought it was just a good reason,” I mutter.
So in celebration of our human ability to make an excuse, here are a few from runners who found it a little too challenging to make it to the Sun Run this year.  I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you adapted and borrowed, because a good excuse can always be used more than once.
 I can’t run today because…
·         My shoes are too old to run in.
·         My shoes are too new.
·         My running outfit is in the wash.
·         I’m not really a runner.
·         My body fat is too low.
·         My hair hurts…
·         PMS… And if you push me on this you’ll regret it.
·         The elevation in Vancouver is too high, the air too thin.
·         Sun spots.
·         My heart rate is too high.
·         My heart rate is too low.
·         I don’t have a heart rate.
Whatever your discipline is, spiritual or physical or both, may you enjoy your excuses, and then outrun them.

Dan Chambers


  1. And for ministers who would love to be running with the 50,000 in the Vancouver Sun Run..."well, um, I'd be there for sure but it IS Palm Sunday and we have this 10 am service." Oh well, there's always the Victoria Times-Colonist Run in May. Darn, it's on a Sunday as well! These are tough excuses to outrun! :-)