I'm a runner, and more specifically, a solo runner.
Running is inherently communal. The running community thrives on togetherness—sharing running stories, encouraging each other, participating in events, and embarking on group runs. I enjoy all aspects of this community, except for the latter. In the past, when fellow runners suggested, "We should go on a run together," I would agree in principle, all the while knowing I'd prefer to avoid it.
It's not that I'm antisocial; I simply prefer to run alone. I cherish the freedom of plugging in my AirPods, stepping out the door, and embracing the solitude. I relish setting my own pace and choosing my path, without the need to coordinate or compromise.
However, preferring solitude doesn't necessarily mean it's beneficial.
We need others. We flourish with the support of others. Shawn shared a story about Brian who helped him finish his first marathon. As I listened to that, I honestly thought to myself: "I would have smiled, nodded, wished him the best and kept running my own race." Probably not the best.
We need each other and can't do it alone. Often, mistakenly, I think that I can. I need to look around and see who I can encourage on their run and who is encouraging me. I need to recognize the community that God has put around me as a runner and as a Christian.
Who is encouraging you today and who are you encouraging?