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.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New Snow and One Thing Needful

Yesterday I went for an afternoon run in Birch Island Park. I thought I needed to push my lazy body hard with some hill repeats and crazy woodland running. Stepping through the fresh snow of the night before, I got it all and so much more. I covered 6.2 miles (10K) with 1012 feet ascending and 1025 feet descending. It was a gorgeous 18F with a completely unnoticed westerly breeze of 10mph. Oh, and the sky was clear. Clear! I felt like someone had ripped the lid off of this tired old winter and tried to ram a little spring into Sunday afternoon. It was wonderful. And all of this sent me leaping around the trails like a kid in a new pair of canvas shoes. This is a gift when God graces us with these moments of wild, unrestrained freedom.

As I sit here reflecting on yesterday’s run I realize that I must make the point to stop and savor these times. Each experience, seasoned with my Father’s perfect blend of teaching and correction and love and discipline. Each moment an echo from eternity’s shores - a blend of joy and praise and awe and overwhelming beauty. In so many ways the Lord walks among us.

I will make my dwelling among you, and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people. [Leviticus 26:11-12 ESV]

At one point I was returning down a hillside that I had come up a short time before. On the ascent I had needed to climb – not run. Now as I came down the hill I stopped and considered the edge I was standing on. Hmm. No where to go. I leaned forward and thinking, I need to grasp that root there and, yes, shift my weight and…. At this point, my grasp of the root was about to twist my arm and wrist under the full weight of my body. Immediately I decide to take control of what was happening rather than “spectate” over my crash. I pushed off with my right toe and tucked my head (like I’d seen my once gymnastic son’s do so many times) and – What? Amazing! – my feet just went over my head like they were pivoting on a string. I ended up still grasping the root, yet gazing out over the remaining descent. Then I dropped to the hillside and continued running down the slope. I had gone completely head over heels and had landed more or less flat and without injury. More grace.

I was out scampering around for an hour and a half. I needed the time with my Lord to think through things and sort out the last few weeks. Sometimes it all gets so crazy that we just need to pull up and pause in the busy press of days. We need to give Him time to lift our hearts to the things that really matter.

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” [Luke 10:38-42 ESV]

There are always a thousand thousand things to distract and demand our attention. But there is only one thing that is needful. Come with me as I pursue the one thing needful. Oh friend, run hard and run true.

1 comment:

Abbey von Gohren said...

funny - i just prayed today that God would not let my "martha" get the better of my "mary".