Maggie H. Johnson

Writer • Speaker

Long Miles & Loud Lies

I woke up before the sun, still wrapped in a cocoon of warmth and coaxing my own mind into submission. Darkness does not give way to reason, and this has always been my fight. My feet obediently hit the floor as I prepared to do that which I do not want to do – run four miles at seven o’clock in the morning.

I laced up my trusty sneakers, stretched my limbs, and started down the asphalt path. Step by step, the familiar lies began to bombard my mind, just as I knew they would – just as I hoped they would.

“You’re not good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You don’t have what it takes.”


The longer the miles, the louder the lies. I need them to show their faces at this point in the day so that I can prove their falsehood at first light. I need them to rare their ugly heads when I’m most vulnerable, because if I can believe the truth when I’m tired and sweaty, then I can believe the truth all day long.

Lies are both elusive and visceral in nature, which is why they thrive in darkness. They can’t necessarily be pinned down with logic and intellect – my preferred weapons of choice. The only other approach at my disposal at seven in the morning is brute force. So I run, but not without intention. I run to train my mind to believe the truth, to pound out the inconsistencies that have dug their way into the crevices of my mind.


But there are days when I lose. There are times when the lies start to sound a lot more like truth, and I forget how to untangle the web.

Then I remember that Jesus came for the losers. He shines a light for the ones who can’t reason their way through the dark. He sorts through the mess and leads us back home. When lies grow louder, he speaks up on our behalf. He draws close to the losers, and that makes all the difference.


I grinned victoriously through labored breaths and said, “You made me from scratch.”

That’s all it took to silence the shouts. Suddenly accusations were exchanged for peace. Instead of seeing a litany of weaknesses, my eyes shifted to the reality of my origin. He made me good.

I rounded the corner to our house just after sunrise and knew what had been true all along: Lies can’t survive in the light of day.


  1. I play tennis to sort thru the lies Maggie
    Be well today❤️

  2. Oh Maggie,
    I also jog or sometimes just walk to clear my mind! I am not naturally athletic but somehow this keeps me mentally sane.
    You are wonderful!

  3. This is so good! Not only is it filled with truth, but it stays captivating through your level of poetic writing. Thank you for sharing with the world!

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