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.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Upon the Great Sea of God's Sovereignty

My writer’s pen has been quiet for a number of weeks as I have devoted myself to a brief but healthy and wonderful immersion in family life. My travel schedule saw a three week lull and I was feeling pretty flat-lined by my recent wanderings. On returning from Buenos Aires some weeks back, my daughter suggested a run to and through and back from Purgatory Park using her route. I’d run to this park countless times and there was only my route. But I was curious now. What was her route? We had a delightful time and I learned a new path covering a modest 4.32 miles. I never cease to learn new things if I remain open to learn. It seems that part of me wants to run the same old ruts again and again, while another part of me wants to strike out and explore new things. Mostly these days, I’m leaning into the breeze of adventure with each new day. When I speak of leaning into the breeze of adventure, I mean that I have abandoned myself to the sovereignty of God and His ways for me.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” [Prov 16:9] “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” [Prov 19:21]

Jeepers, it was only a few weeks ago that I was running in Singapore, running hot and humid. I did two runs there along the coast - one of 7.25 and another of 12.7 miles; each run a test of my will and endurance through the waves of heat and heavy air, but God was there. In my struggles I was awed by the beauty and magnificence of the place, and awed most of all by His hand supporting me and carrying me through the difficulty. It was a rich challenge, but I was very happy to see the trails near my home again. Over the three weeks at home I had a few occasions to run Birch Island and Purgatory Park, but remained focused on my family most of all. I felt a deep need to work and set things in order, and to love much with my hands and to work on tasks for the house and family, and to hug and say “good night” and “I love you” in person; to love with my whole self; running with my heart. God gave me a brief season to love in practical, real ways, and I did not want to miss it.

Last week I began traveling again and found myself in North Carolina near Raleigh-Durham, and a favorite running spot - Lake Crabtree County Park. Here they have fantastic mountain bike trails that weave and tuck and jump and dive through a beautiful forest. I did two runs over three days, each one a little over five miles. It was sheer delight. I returned home briefly but have spent much of the weekend traveling. I arrived in Bangalore, India at 5:30am today. It is evening as I look out over the lights of the city. My own trail is running through India and my heart is ever pursuing God. For me in this season the cities change like a kaleidoscope, but He does not change. He is faithful and true. This is how I want to run.

Always our paths weave an endless thread of being along an endless trail that He has laid for each. We lean into His sovereign will and rest in His ways. For all of us the trail is a truly endless one. In an earlier post in May of this year I quoted C.S. Lewis. He wrote, “You have never talked with a mere mortal.” Lewis was observing that we are all eternal beings. We will spend our eternity with God or without Him. How have we run? Was He the pursuit of our lives? Did we abandon ourselves upon the great sea of God's sovereignty? Our trails tell our stories. Oh, friend, come with me as we pursue Him - the greatest treasure in all the world. Let’s run hard and true as we run His trails into eternity.