I am not allowed to run, I can’t jog. I can walk but sometimes my back goes, or my leg goes and then I am stuck up a mountain with nowhere to go.


I do run, sometimes I walk from Carker to Ballahantouragh and back. There is a stretch of road from Jack The Block to Bill Hill, it is relatively straight, tarmacked and flat (as flat as you are going to get in Kerry) and I love to just open up my chest, fill my lungs with God’s air and run. I have to face the consequences, occasionally immediate muscle pulling in my right calf (four miles limping home – not good), later on in the day my back might go into spasm, like David I lie on the floor face down speaking to God.

Consequences are what we have to live with once we have made a decision. To have a baby. To get married. To not have a baby. To not get married. To change jobs, to not change jobs. To argue over who spilt the milk or not. When there is a tragedy like a road accident there is always a story around it. The people who normally take that road who for some reason didn’t that morning. The people who took that road for the first time ever. The woman who was going into town but then remembered she had left the oven on and turned round. The man who got delayed behind a tractor and couldn’t get past. 

Safety governs our lives more than ever before. Trees are no longer climbed, bikes aren’t ridden without helmets, cars cannot freewheel down hills anymore. We don’t walk in the rain because we might get wet. We don’t swim in the sea because there is no lifeguard. We “Disneyland” our lives with rules above our heads saying “mind the gap” “look out” “caution” “achtung”. I remember running downhill in a wee race with a couple of schoolfriends at a teachers house and arriving home with blood all down one side as I had slid on some scree. 

Think about it – I was a teacher’s house (not allowed anymore), I was running down a steep hill (use the rail, use the steps, be careful, don’t run, don’t hurt yourself) and I went home head to foot in blood (clean it up, don’t touch it, get her to the doctor, to the hospital, call the insurance company, get compensation)

One time I was cycling on a busy main road when some stupid child I was with touched wheels with mine and I ended up sprawled in the road in the line of oncming traffic. I survived {obviously} to tell the tale.

Think about it – I was cycling (no helmet, one brake, no gears) on a main road (use the side road, use the cycling path, don’t stand up, don’t have fun, don’t feel God’s wind in your hair) and an accident occurred, cars had to brake, had to swerve, had to move (hit her, the insurance will cover it) 

One time I got into a very precarious situation, no details need to be given, where my mind had to decide between yes and no. I chose yes and survived. i lived with the consequences of not only saying yes but getting myself in that precarious situation.

Look at the line of cars outside schools – we don’t even let our children walk to school, not even with us. My elderly neighbours used to walk two miles to school across ditches (they could fall in), across fields (they could step in something, across lanes (a vehicle could run them over) stepping stones over the river (oh don’t go there – they could fall in, get wet, yah de yah)


So I am not allowed to run but sometimes I do:

because life is too short not to feel God’s wind in your hair, to feel your body straining to go faster, higher, longer – no matter what the consequences maybe.

Some times we are asked to jump in or jump out are you ready to do that? Or are you worried about injuries, safety? Will you jump?


I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Philippians 3:14

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