My After-running Attitude Adjustment Talk

Fifty years ago, I started repeating favorite verses and sayings after my run: Physical exercise has some value (1 Timothy 4:8, GNB).

As time progressed, I added more content that was meaningful. 

When I finish a run, I walk about a quarter of a mile to cool down. During this time I repeat this. What follows is what it is today. It may change when I reflect on things I read and hear.

There is a story about each section. If you want to know more, I’ll be glad to tell you.

Rudyard Kipling’s poem, If, is the best non-biblical description of the leadership quality of differentiation I know. There is room for meditation, contemplation, and application in each section. It was helpful in getting me through the months (and years) following December 19, 1976. This was the day an elder invited me into the elders’ office after Bible study — immediately before going into the auditorium for worship and preaching and told me I should think about resigning that day.

I have found this helpful to remind me of some of the most important things in life.

My Attitude Realignment Exercise (After-Running Talk to God and Myself)

This is the day the LORD has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24, NKJV).

This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for it. I want it to be gain — not loss, good — not evil, success — not failure in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it. — Heartsill Wilson

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13, 14).

Father, I love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I love my neighbor as myself.

I love Gail as my body — as myself. I love Gail even as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.

I love Jerrie Wayne, Terri, Elizabeth, Jeffrey, Jackson, Connor, Whitney, Nathan, Zane, Dalton, Lizzie, Wyatt Houston, Christi, Brian, Brittan, and Braden and have a good relationship with them. I am encouraging, Christi, Brian, Brittan, Braden, Jerrie Wayne, Terri, Elizabeth, Jeffrey, Jackson, Connor, Whitney, Nathan, Zane, Dalton, Lizzie, and Wyatt Houston in the training and admonition of the Lord.

I love and honor Mother and Daddy. It is well with me. Thank you for making my days long on the earth.

I love the Central church. I love the members of the Central church. I love and respect our elders, Doug, Chip, Matt, Alan, David, Dennis, Greg.

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not (Jeremiah 20:9, NKJV).

For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! (1 Corinthians 9:16).

To the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater, 
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10,11).

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).

Every day, in some way, I am growing.

Every day, in some way, I am growing.

“But whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:25-28).

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with your, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!
— Rudyard Kipling

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; 
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties; 
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23, 24).

– Jerrie Barber, Revised, July 5, 2021

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Jerrie Barber
Servant of Jesus, husband to Gail, father to Jerrie Wayne Barber, II and Christi Parsons, grandfather, great-grandfather, Interim Preacher, Shepherd coach, Ventriloquist, barefoot runner, ride a cruiser bicycle

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