chasing the negative split

By Craig Borlase | 1 February 2012 | Comments (1)

the negative split

Photo by 'through my eyes only'. Used under Creative Commons licence.

 

If you happen to be one of those serious marathon runners who thinks little of fitting in a quick 10 miler before breakfast, then you’ll probably already know about the negative split. For the rest of us trapped beneath the duvet, an explanation: the negative split means deliberately running the first half of the race slower than the second, giving yourself time to find a pace and then improve on it, planning to have enough in the tank and cross the finish line knowing that you gave everything you had in those final miles. The negative split is the discipline to master if you’re serious about going the distance.

 

Jesus taught that true generosity is not a matter of who gives most, nor is it a question of easing off once we have given ‘enough’. Generosity plays by a different set of rules. Generosity, it seems, has far more to do with our response to our heavenly Father than the specifics of our finances.

 

Which brings us back to the idea of the race. If we see generosity as a one-off event only to be engaged when we feel sufficiently guilty, we won’t be fit for purpose. We were made for more than just ‘doing our bit’ or offering ‘the least we could do’. We were created in the image of an overwhelmingly generous God, so is it any wonder that we should feel the urge to give? Forget all you’ve seen of the way the uberwealthy live - with their high gates and privacy glass. What we have should not isolate us from the world around. Instead, it should draw us closer to others.

 

But what about those negative splits? This innate urge to give needs training. Just as discipline and preparation matter for the serious runner, so it can help us to be deliberate in our acts of generosity. Spontaneous giving is good - just like the quick burst of pace that is called for by unexpected changes in the race - but aren’t the best givers among us the ones who have woven generosity into the fabric of their lives? Don’t we want to be part of a community of generous givers that keeps on going, keeps on giving, keeps on growing?

 

That’s why 40acts matters so much this Lent. Sign up and you’ll be joining with thousands of others who are choosing to make generosity a priority, not just a passing fad. Each day of Lent the 40acts email will offer a challenge that will bring you closer to your community and your environment, strengthening your generosity for the years to come. Join us, and together we’ll get better at being generous.

comments:

Gerald Gresham- Cooke

February 1, 2012 5:50 PM
Good article - close to my runner's heart !

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