I met Generosity while I was on a run. He came right up next to me, easily at my pace. He was dressed for a marathon and in some way seemed fully prepared. But not by the things that he had. He had a kind face, the one that once you saw, you would never forget.

He came up to me to ask me for a drink from my water bottle. While a little wary, I didn’t think it would be that much harm so I offered him a sip. He took it and when on his way.

He came up again a little further into the run and asked me for my whole water bottle. At this request, I balked—my whole water bottle?! What if I needed it further along in my run? He asked me that if I knew he would have water for me along my run when I needed it, would I still want to hold onto this water bottle I was carrying? He posed a very good question and I thought about it for a minute. Did I want to keep carrying this heavy thing if I could give it to him now, knowing he would continue to provide for me later? I decided I could give it to him. Once I gave it, I felt lighter. It felt easier to run without carrying it and so off I went. 

Generosity came up to me on my run further along. This time, he asked for my watch. My watch?! Now I couldn’t believe it! How would I be able to keep my time, to know what the time was and when I would be done? The whole thing felt absurd. This was my watch—mine—and I could never give it away. He said, if I told when you would be done and showed you where you would be, would you still need a watch? Would you still want to keep checking to see how much longer you had? Wouldn’t it be easier without? I thought about it for a little as I continued to run. I didn’t really need my water bottle as much as I thought I did. Maybe I would feel better without my watch as well. So I give him my watch and went on my way.

I kept running, without my water bottle and without my watch. It did feel freer than I imagined, knowing where I was going, not feeling weighed down or set into a specific timing—knowing fully I was trusting the path and trusting that Generosity would come back, to direct me and give me what I needed.

So as I ran, I ended up running alongside Generosity—fully at his pace. He held my water bottle and he had my watch and continued to run with me as I went. And as we went, he started talking to me, talking to me about running free, running off path, and running wherever I wanted to whenever I wanted. He pointed out that the path I was running on was mapped out by me, every detailed laid out on my own. Wouldn’t it be better to take the unmapped path for once, he asked? 

At this point, we came to a crossing, where the path I was running on (and planned to continue to run on) went off to the left. The other way off to the right led to an open meadow and beyond. We stopped at that moment of decision, now, all the thing Generosity taught me began ringing in my head. Did I really need to continue on the path I laid out for myself? Or could I trust Generosity and take this new, untraveled way? I looked at him and the moment we met eyes, he knew what my decision was going to be. He smiled and asked me one last question—did I need to take everything I had with me? I looked down, looking at what I was wearing and lastly at my shoes. I looked at the green meadow before and the green grass beyond. Then, I took off my shoes and I took off my shirt and handed them to Generosity. I don’t need these I said as I crossed over the road and into the meadow, you can have them. By now, I know you’ll bring me what I need when I need it and I’m much freer without them. I’m ready to run free I yelled, which were my final words to Generosity as I darted off into that meadow and beyond. I left it all behind, only to discover that what lay before me left me freer than I ever could have imagined.

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