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.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Weariness and Gloom

In recent days temperatures have been pleasantly in the upper 30s and low 40s as we make our way toward warmer weather. So, as I planned my run for yesterday morning I was anticipating a comfortable jaunt along some fairly easy trail ways. I got going around 6:20am. Standing in the driveway waiting for my running watch to find the satellites, I felt a pretty brisk breeze. Hmm. I later learned the temperature was 27F with wind gusts to 23mph. This explains the bite in the air. Oh well, off we go, I thought. And there I went.

It was dark as I began, but within 20-30 minutes I could see day’s light coming. Sky was solidly overcast and gloomy. Was there a ceiling on my heart? My goal was to tick off a 10 or 15 miler. At my five mile point I could determine whether I had the juice to go 15 today. It was good that day’s light came when it did. The trails were about 25-30% iced over; and I mean ice – glazed over hard smooth like a skating rink in many places, and I needed the light to find trail surface with a little grit and traction. My pace became crawl - careful slow. OK, I have the time; relax and enjoy the morning. Did I mention the clouds and gloom? I could feel the weight of my spirit as it struggled to get beyond these sensory depressions.

At five miles, I thought, I could just as easily go for 15 as 10. I accepted the challenge to go the longer distance. Only a few miles beyond this point, however, my hands started getting very cold. I began working them, massaging and stuffing them under my clothes, to get them warm. They did not get comfortably warm until I was back home holding a cup of hot coffee. I plodded along the trail for over 3 hours, my mind alternately between staying warm and praying and worshipping the Lord.

In the middle of this bleak and weary morning, I was struck with the raw glory and beauty of God and His world. And I was appreciating that we are often called out to tasks and places and lives that are not comfortable, not convenient. So learning to deal with the unexpected and not pleasant circumstance, as I was this morning, was so very good for me. It was good for me to work through the discomfort and challenges. It was good for me that the morning had not been what I expected. It was good me to find God in all places; however dark and gloomy and bleak and cold; to find God’s faithfulness in my struggles. In the final quarter mile I was wonderfully surprised. Rays of sunlight began streaming out of the heavens filling the air with bright light, lifting the emotional clouds and spirit weariness. God was shining and faithful.

Now today as I write this, I look out on another gloomy day. But I know; yes, I know; that there are fingers of sunlight and bright streaming rays buried in this overcast view from my window.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns.’” Isaiah 52:7

He reigns. Oh, fellow traveler, rejoice with me. He reigns over every circumstance and challenge. Let’s not grow weary, but keep our hearts fixed on Him the Author and Finisher of our faith. And let’s run!

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