And the day God breathed upon your still life, stirring into being the green leaf and the flower, bud upon the branch and light
upon your soul. Here you felt the earth’s air on your petals and your leaves, and squinted into sunlight, gazing high for heaven
until you felt the gardener’s hand gently turning soil and soul, and nurturing you, bud in radiant sun.
Cascading rain absorbed in warm earth turning, heaven of fragrance. What is that sound in the wind and dazzling light?
Oh, the sweet sound of your delight in God. Sometimes it is like the sound of running laughter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Some days it is all about just doing it, going forward, keeping moving. Yesterday I ran a 10 miler for the first time since my October/November leg surgeries. It was an encouraging 19F. I told myself, “Just an easy pace, maintain it – goal: finish 10 mile run without incident.” It was a partly sunny to sunny afternoon with pleasant breeze at my back that surprised me a bit on my turnaround - a colder than I anticipated bite in the wind, but I adjusted. My spirit soared at moments as I considered the path I have been on and how faithful and merciful my Lord has been. I was thinking about sojourning. We move along and we wait for Him to give us the next step. And we advance forward and then we wait. For the children of Israel they followed a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When God moved, they moved. When God stopped, they stopped. They sojourned. They were fixed on His pace and His plan. Not necessarily understanding it, but following it nonetheless. Likewise, we are sojourning – which means most importantly, that we are waiting on God. We are dependent on Him. We are fixed on Him. This is our life. As He moves we move, and as He stops, we stop.

so·journ (sō'jûrn', sō-jûrn') intr.v. so·journed , so·journ·ing , so·journ
To reside temporarily. n. A temporary stay; a brief period of residence.
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.


So"journ*ing\, n. The act or state of one who sojourns.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

And so I was thinking about this life we live waiting on God, this life of sojourning. I was thinking that it becomes a path followed, a trail, a way of life. Like yesterday as I ran. Taking the next step and the next, and over the course of my run – a path followed. With Jesus it is all about paths followed.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." Jesus, Matthew 7:13-14

This morning tested my resolve. I got up reluctantly and thought I should just skip my planned 5 miles. But then I thought, “When will I get serious about running again?” Somewhere in myself I found a sliver of earnestness. So, I got my running gear on and pushed out the door. It was 15F and gray overcast. Don’t think too hard about this, Henry. Just keep moving out the door, out to the road, down the road, keep running, don’t look back. Follow Him. Keep moving with Him. Today I was layering a 5 miler over my 10 miler yesterday to begin my gradual build on endurance; necessary steps to broader running goals. Today’s goal, like yesterday was simply to maintain an easy pace and finish the planned run. Again, God was there for me.

This morning as I ran, my head was jammed with a thousand obstacles - my legs are lead, my body weighs a thousand pounds, I can’t move, my hands are cold, my body is sweating, my breathing is not enough oxygen, my legs are profoundly weary and not able anymore, and oh man, when will this be done? I felt so silly. This was only a 5 mile run. What was the big deal? But in all the mental noise and rambling I found His calm. He just took me. And then I was confident in Him. He will sustain me, I thought. Just keep moving and you will be home.

"Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, 'Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.' But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls." Hebrews 10: 35-39

This is the life - serious conditioning for the challenges; training for endurance; preparing to run the race. And He is there. In it all we have Him as our strength and companion. He is the way of our sojourning. The race will not be easy and is not for the faint-hearted. But this is why we prepare and build endurance. This is why we learn to find strength in Him; to lean on Him. He is my all.

Well, I did get back home and relax with a coffee and breakfast, and finished it off with some quiet reading from His Word; as it turned out - a perfect morning. I’m going to have to do this more often. I think I enjoy this endurance thing, and I feel better than I’ve felt for a long time. His life is a good life.

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