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Grabbing the Hand

AR and I had dinner last night at a fine fusion restaurant with Julie and Geraldine serving us, winning us over with their friendliness, glossy menu and free shots. What a good start to the evening.

After dinner, AR suggested we walk around before dessert and she was game for a walk in the park. I laughed in my spirit because AT had been terrified of walking with me in the park two years earlier. 

Immediately after we exited the restaurant, I grabbed her hand without asking, taking a cue from my spiritual father, who had told me to do this awhile back with another woman. AR didn't resist and didn't say no, which is unlike my previous experiences, and which is a good sign, my spiritual father would later say. My hands are cold, and my siphoning off her thermal energy became a running joke throughout the evening.

AR was a bit confused, and perhaps emotionally overwhelmed in our evening together last night. We sat down and talked quite a bit. She shared with me dating instructio…
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The Long Weekend

Maybe this is the season growing up by  stepping out of my spiritual fathers’ shadows. 
This weekend was my church anniversary and I skipped every anniversary service on Friday and Saturday nights, and every Sunday service, and Monday men’s prayer meeting. That didn’t sit well with me, nor was not working so much, although I had a fruitful, enjoyable weekend away from proper church and work.
This is my son, whom I love. With him I am well pleased.
The Spirit of God has been speaking to me in my work, about my central tendency to seek approval from authority; evidenced in other life areas in my unswerving loyalty to my spiritual fathers and mentors; and my angst in stepping outside of their shadows and instruction.
A way out from the anxiety of work is knowing God’s approval and encouragement in my work and ignoring, not dwelling on the everyday reality of no feedback, little positive feedback, negative fantasy and reactivity in my work.

Holiday Prayer

Father, thank you for the physical break from Hong Kong. Thank you for your comforting and powerful presence with me, and my loved ones, in Taiwan. You are faithful and at work in our lives for your glory. Please continue to shape us to be like your son and to be one with you. Our desire is to praise and worship you, and to abide in you.
Thank you for your work in the Uber driver’s life through his girlfriend, your daughter. You amaze me with your love for the Taiwanese people and how you reach them in surprising ways. I pray today that Taiwanese people would know that your grace is enough and free, that sacrifice is no longer needed but mercy! In Jesus’ name I pray.

Sun Life 5K 2018

17:42 on 4.92 on my watch. 3:25; 3:32; 3:40; 3:44; 3:20 (.92k). Second overall. Praise God.
My first K was my fastest, thank God, per my strategy. I had known my difficulty in getting to speed and maintaining my speed — no consistency  — so I had decided the former was easier to address with a blowout first kilometer. In that way, the 19 second difference is reasonable given that I would have slowed down — in my intensity — during the race. I probably would have run a 3:44 no matter a slower first K. 
For marathon training, today is fine given I run back to Tai Wai and run a bit more today. I am supposed to run 43 miles this week and wonder if I can find some time and distance in Taipei.
Conditions were fine for a race. Thank God. Sunny — glad to have brought sunglasses. Warmest day in two weeks. Fast and flat course with a little headwind — far less than at Ma On Shan. The swelling in my right hand has receded for the first time in over a week, today, praise God!
I was running a…

Children and Respect

In comparing my godchildren’s family with my landlord’s family, I see the appeal of having one child, in terms of ease of parenting. In my godchildren I see how much more tiring raising more than one child is, and how sibling rivalry can be a hurtful dynamic: yesterday I saw how my godson’s voice raising is literally to get attention as he is the youngest and smallest in the family — I noticed a lot of attention seeking behavior yesterday, to the benefit of his creativity, and to the detriment of his focus, safety and concentration in a crowded place; he is more Chinese than we give him credit for because he also raises his voice when he thinks he is correct!
I see the physical danger of raising a young, short, attention seeking, unfocused child on streets crowded with people and cars. 
I felt the pain of giving up my life to spend time with this beloved family. I was drowning in my feelings for awhile yesterday, even when flying kites. How hard is letting go of people’s and my own…

Pacers 10K 2018

37:40 official for 10.05 on my watch. First overall in category.
3:40; 3:43; 3:43; 3:39; 3:38 (18:23 5K); 3:48; 3:49; 3:48; 3:51; 3:47 (19:03 5K)
I wasn’t expecting to run a PB time but I also wasn’t expecting to run so slowly! Specifically, my last 5K was ugly, forty seconds off my first 5K. I did not have the endurance for the last 5K but I certainly had a murderous headwind!
As a matter of marathon training, today was fine, especially as I ran back to tai wai.
For a faster 10K, I should be more disciplined in a speed work program. More rest during the week — I put up 33 miles last week and ran 7 miles yesterday. More rest the night before too  — I slept a little after 23:00 for a 06:00 wakeup with an 08:00 start and 07:23 arrival.
I decided in bed last night to run the race. My thesis revisions made me anxious and I wanted to work on them first thing in the morning; like the morning of the Gurkha race, fantasies of alternative workouts swirled in my head; but I also think fin…

Family Things

The Lord has been speaking to me about going home to New York — not least because my church lives there now  and God impresses New York as one city where I should and could find work — and settling down there, to be with my family. Even today, when I called my father on his birthday, my dad was very clear, several times, in stating that he and the rest of my family miss me. I do not think my father has ever been so vocal about the grounds for my coming back. And even this morning, I imagined living in Manhattan with my high school friend and being under one of my spiritual father’s covering as well. Like Joseph, I am overcome with emotion in imagining these possibilities, and am more determined to trust God, and to finish these thesis revisions with wisdom and humility. 
Since that call, I realize all the more how precarious our lives and relationships are: my father and grandmother were locked up inside their flat during a recent cold spell so as not to contract flu, and end up in h…