Running into the Future

This is a guest post written by Zac Parsons:

I do not have the body of a runner.  I barely have the body of an athlete.  When I see video of myself in physical activity, I wince like most of us do when we hear our voice on a recording and think “Is that really what I am like?”.  But, for whatever reason, in every stage of my life, I have run.  Today, I ran to the beat of this song, by Panic! at the Disco:

The drum beat has fantastic cadence for my running stride.  I love letting the image of the video run through my mind as I run through the streets.  The Sgt. Pepperish outfits are a throwback to the 60’s, and the song dances back and forth with talk of the past and the future.  Even the title asks some clever questions:  “At what point would 9:00 ever be considered the afternoon?”  and “Is the afternoon the end of your daily rhythm, or the beginning?”

In researching for this article, I discovered the band has since split up since writing and recording this song.  The remaining members (the drummer and the front-man), just released a new single entitled “New Perspective”.  The song doesn’t grab me right away, but the title and some of the lyrics seem to indicate a view towards the future and what could be, juxtaposed with what was.

We’ve all heard the phrase “time marches on”, and it certainly does.  I sometimes wonder if growth and maturity are inevitable based on the ticking of a clock and the movement that must take place in the midst of the march.  In many cases, time does drag or push us into the future, whether we wish it to or not.  And that seems to be the difference: our wishes and intentional movement.  There is a future to be entered into, and it can be our choice of how and where we enter.

I have this picture in my mind myself walking through life in between a set of parentheses.  If I start to feel sorry for myself and sit down to pout, the parentheses keep moving.  Eventually the lagging one is upon me and dragging me through the dirt, forward through life.  It’s when my focus is on the leading one when I am most content and at peace with life.

Hope abounds.

Optimism rains from the sky.

Energy fills my heart and mind, and my body runs toward the future.  I think that this is part of the reason why most children are happy as a default setting in their lives.  With less to look back on, there is the future waiting to be entered into.  I also think this is why the phenomenon of a mid-life crisis is so rampant, and legitimate.  After getting “over the hill”, many of us want to scramble back to the top and enjoy the view.  Or even to climb back down to a part of the trail where the peak is still ahead on the horizon.

Time is marching on.  It’s my responsibility to stay on my feet.  Right now, I’m running.