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just-walk-across-the-roomMy wife and I are runners. We’ve completed a 10-miler; a couple of half-marathons and a full marathon.

One of the unexpected things I learned to appreciate about running is the “runners culture.”

The Runners Culture

Runners have a culture all their own – language, customs, gear and camaraderie. What I love most about the culture is the runners’ “greeting.”

When runners encounter runners they ALWAYS acknowledge each other – its one of the rules of running.

In passing, they lift a hand to wave, or tip their cap, or offer a “Good morning” or an encouraging, “Keep going!” or the awesome words, “You guys are making it look so easy!”

Sometimes its just a smile.

Jocelyn and I seldom know the runners passing us but we feel a bit like family. It takes a runner to know a runner.

Sunday Morning Runners at Church

On a recent run I was reflecting on how a runner’s greeting on the trail is like a Sunday morning greeting at church.

Some people are too quick to dismiss a handshake and a passing, “Hi. How are you?” or “Good to see you,” or “Good morning” as simply superficial.

Or is it?

When runners pass on the trail we have no way of knowing how far each other has run, how tired they are or how much pain they are in.

We have no way of knowing how fatiguing it is to lift a hand, or gasp out the word, “Hi” or even to find the energy to lift their head and offer a simple, wordless smile.

Sunday Encounters

Don’t be too quick to judge the power of a greeting.

Who knows what the other person who engages you has gone through the previous week and the resolve they’ve used to even get to church.

I know that for some, it can be the last Sunday they planned on coming to church.

“Will anyone finally acknowledge me?”

“Will anyone notice me?”

“Will anyone care?”

“Will someone even say ‘Hi’ to me today?”

On the Road

Our favourite place to run is along the river in our hometown of St Albert, Alberta. We always pass the Running Room, a St Albert store that outfits runners.

There is a mural painted on the river side of their building facing the running trail. It’s the image of a woman running on a trail. The caption reads, “ON THE ROAD.”

running on the roadThe image inspires me every time I run by it.

Keep On Running!

Showing up at church on a Sunday can be a way of saying to others,

“I am still running on the road of faith.

“I am still on the road of trusting God in the midst of my struggles.”

“I am tired but I am still on the road.”

“I am still on the road of loving Jesus and serving others.”

“I am still on the road as a part of this church family.”

The next time you are in church and you are coming towards a fellow “runner” – lift up your head, put a smile on your face, reach out your hand and give them a runners greeting.

Its worth a walk across the room to engage someone this Sunday. You never know whose race you just made a little easier.

APPLICATION: One of the most powerful things you can do is walk across a church foyer and engage people with a sincere greeting.

Pointes of View exists in order to help people grow their faith in Jesus, build healthy relationships and effectively live out their purpose.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Relevance, connectedness, and acknowledgement; we all want to be recognized and I suppose to be part of the cool kids. My guess is we really have no idea of the impact of those warm welcomes, words of encouragement, and simple hearty handshakes. Well spoken, still on the road.

  • bob jones says:

    Thanks Tim. Your comment is like a “High 5” on the road!

  • Tammy says:

    Very nice write up, thank-you. I was running this morning around Lake Beaumaris at 5:30am and on that 1st lap I only saw one other runner and he too, gave me the high 5. It’s true, we don’t know how that person is feeling. I started off my run a little discouraged but by the end of the run I felt Gods presence and my attitude changed and again I felt hopeful. I often compare my running with my walk with the good Lord too. Thanks for this, blessings 🙂
    p.s. You’re also very inspiring, I didn’t know you did a marathon. I was thinking of joining the clinic at the St. Albert running room next week they’re starting one up.

  • bob jones says:

    Hi Tammy. 5:30am and on the road. That’s such a great time to run. I am glad the post could make you conscious of how a little thing can have a good effect on someone else and yourself. High 5 to you!

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