It’s Wales’s National Day: Happy Saint David’s Day! Here is a little celebration piece. I heard recently from David York who in 2015 was getting started in long distance running. Not your average marathon, but as he put it that December 15:
I’m gathering together my things and heading off to Death Valley where I plan to run from Nevada, over the mountain range, down into the valley basin and continue on for 45 miles across the desert. Please don’t ask “why?” Long story …. I’m facing the reality that I have become an increasingly penitent man (who is having one heck of a mid-life crisis!) But the desert is a pretty good place to go and bond with the Creator, and I have a lot to offer up. I swear I’m not insane, I’m just doing what I feel called to do.
And, if I could humbly ask of you, please pray for me and perhaps reflect upon Psalms 23 and 26.
A month later he wrote:
Death Valley was amazing. Apparently, I was meant to be there, as something was clearly waiting for me in the middle of Badwater.
I have one hell of a story to tell. Countless things went wrong. But if I had a chance to do it all over again, I would in a heartbeat. 45 Miles across mountains and deserts: for the highlight of my (short) ultra-running life, Death Valley is the pinnacle.
Death Valley is not about death, but life. Death Valley is almost always the opposite of what it seems.
Regarding “Badwater”: keep in mind, this was part of the “Old West”. I’ll paraphrase the story:
One day an old man was passing across the desert and he took his horse up to some water. The horse wouldn’t drink! So… the old man put up a sign that said, “Bad Water”. It never changed.
There are actually some tiny fish that live in the Badwater basin pools. But the entire basin is salt. For as far as you can see. You can look a few hundred feet up a mountain wall and see a sign letting you know where Sea Level is located. In pictures, the salt looks like snow. When driving alongside it, you experience the illusion of water in a lake. Again…. Death Valley is not what it seems.
Wishing you peace and all good things,
bro. dave, ofs
I don’t remember why this never became a blog post back then, but tomorrow will reveal why it has done now.
The following is from Pope Francis’s first address to the young people gathered in Panama on January 24.
With you, we want to rediscover and reawaken the Church’s constant freshness and youth, opening ourselves to a new Pentecost (cf. SYNOD ON YOUNG PEOPLE, Final Document, 60). As we experienced at the Synod, this can only happen if, by our listening and sharing, we encourage each other to keep walking and to bear witness by proclaiming the Lord through service to our brothers and sisters, and concrete service at that.
I know getting here was not easy. I know how much effort and sacrifice was required for you to participate in this Day. Many weeks of work and commitment, and encounters of reflection and prayer, have made the journey itself largely its own reward. A disciple is not merely someone who arrives at a certain place, but one who sets out decisively, who is not afraid to take risks and keeps walking. This is the great joy: to keep walking. You have not been afraid to take risks and to keep journeying. Today we were all able to “get here” because for some time now, in our various communities, we have all been “on the road” together.