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, March 9, 2009

The Moon and the Morning Air

My alarm went off at 5am calling me to my scheduled morning run. I had decided to run a few circuits through Purgatory Park as a fairly safe means of getting back on the trails after a short illness. I needed to get myself back in my runner’s groove. By 5:35am I was standing on the edge of the park trail waiting for my watch to find the satellites – or whatever it does when I turn it on. Then off I trotted up the first little slope and around the turn into the darkness with my headlamp illuminating a few feet just ahead of me; darkness with an incredible moon over the early sky. There was a holy silence and hush and just my feet crunching on the ice. Air was calm with 19F, crisp and cold along a largely open trail with some patches of hard, irregular ice to navigate with much care. I covered just over 5 miles in four laps at a breathless pace of 13.01 minutes per mile. OK, not so breathless, I was being very careful on the ice and running in the dark. Anyway, I did climb to my off-road highpoint in the park on each of the laps, and this allowed me to log 688 feet ascending and 671 feet descending. Not a lot, but enough to keep me from becoming a slacker. The run was just the right mix of adventure and effort and discipline to get me back in my running zone. Now I just need to take this forward day-by-day; a daily strength.

In my readings this morning King David was reflecting on his enemies, and concludes:

But I will sing of your strength;
I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
For you have been to me a fortress
and a refuge in the day of my distress.
O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
for you, O God, are my fortress,
the God who shows me steadfast love.
[Psalm 59:16-17]

In Him I find the strength for a day and a run and any challenge that God lays before me. In Him I run and sing and whisper my prayers on the morning air. And in Him I find a treasure of far more worth than any trail run or race or achievement a man might claim. I find the Lord of All, and I find His steadfast love. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” [1 John 4:10] Oh, the sweet comfort of these words. Even as I run my race, I have this confidence that my way is not dependent on me, but wholly remains with my Lord. As I make my way along a thousand trails through a thousand stands of trees and underbrush, as I worship with my eyes and ears and run amazed at the spectacular glories of creation, I run confident in Him and His steadfast love. Oh friend, come along and run this race with me. And let us sing of His wonders together!

1 comment:

Abbey von Gohren said...

Great post. I have been missing the mornings, as getting over a sinus cold pushes me to rest the body rather than work it hard. Looking forward to the return to winding around the Parisian parks, just as you do the Minnesota woods! Thanks for the encouragement.