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, February 4, 2009

I’ll See You There

Today I got up reluctantly with a run in mind. The warm bed kept beckoning me back and it took serious determination to pull away from the warm comfort and make my way toward the door. I was thinking of an easy 5 miles of hills and trails. You know, just enjoy the woodland and have fun. I put on insulated running pants, a tech t-shirt, a tech long sleeve t, a cotton long sleeve t, and a running vest shell top, gloves, mittens, neck buff, and stocking type hat. It seemed a bit nippy when I got outside, but I thought that I should get going. I headed – as I have in recent days – for Birch Island Park and the trails. Within minutes I had pulled the neck buff up over my face to shield me from the air, and stuffed my glasses in a pocket to avoid the nuisance steaming-glasses problem. Now to just coast along and enjoy the miles: the silence (intentionally no music today), and a good conversation with my Lord.

A clear morning and the sun already up. Blue skies high overhead and a light southerly breeze of 3 mph. It felt cold. I discovered much after my run that the temperature at this point was about -6F. This explains why I was a little chilly. Actually, my body was about right – as long as I kept moving – but my hands were getting cold even with my glove/mitten combination. I would periodically jam them into my pockets and spread my fingers out across my thigh as I ran to warm them up. The time passed quickly as I ascended a total of 1143 ft and descended 1170. I worked the hills as I scrambled around on the various trails. This morning these trails were here and there glazed over with a sleet-like surface and I needed to run with added care over these treacherous portions especially when I encountered them on a steep descent. Easy does it.

In the end, I covered 7.1 miles, felt wonderful, and did not freeze to death. Some of my conditioning must be returning. Thank you, Lord. The quiet prayer time was needed, my hungry heart was encouraged, and I saw heaven spilling out over the remainder of my day in countless small moments, attitudes, and worship. Sometimes there is nothing better than a season with God to help us see more clearly and love more deeply. I think I’m beginning to see so many good things in this trail running thing. In fact, later in the day – I ordered another pair of trail shoes. There’s a bunch of trails out there that need to be run. Maybe I’ll see you out there.

OK, one last very serious remark. When I wrote that last phrase I was immediately reminded of the last words my father wrote to me and other’s in the family just before he died (1991). He said regarding heaven, “We all await that great day, I’ll see you there.” So maybe these trails are just good training runs as we prepare our hearts for eternity. Run hard and run true.

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