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.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dance Along Eternity’s Glimmering Edge

Sometimes when I run I discover a new world, an enchanted place for dreaming where my imagination drifts high into the heavens and seems to brush the divine. Almost as an afterthought, I skirt the edges of eternity and run past a thousand sacred moments in my pursuit of lesser things. How do I miss the holy moments so easily, and casually overlook the deepest considerations? Friday morning, 29 January 2010, at 8:32am I was standing on the trail’s edge anxious to get moving. I had lingered a half hour longer than planned enjoying a second cup of coffee. But now I faced my next challenge and was itching to go. It was a quiet morning in Saint Edwards State Park near Seattle, hazy without direct sunlight, subdued, still; a canvas as yet unpainted. I was planning an intense workout, and that is just what I got. I ran three circuits - each including a steep descent down the North Trail, running along Lake Washington, a steep climb up the South Trail, returning down the South Trail descending hard, along the water again, and pounding up the North Trail. Three of these circuits measured a total of 10.6 miles in 3:01 hours ascending 4314 feet and descending 4348. This was a lot of up and down in the space of 10 miles over 3 hours – at least for me. And I felt fabulous after the run. This certainly was one of my strongest workouts to date.

But the forest gave me much to think about, and the thoughts have lingered on in my mind. As I moved along the trails, the old growth forests hung heavy with time and age, the massive trunks of standing pines, the ancient fern beds and ivy cover, and ever present moss gathering at the whisper of any moist, northern exposure. I could feel the near timelessness of the place. And in it all I felt as if the forest itself was hung as a rich curtain of opulent colors and fragrance, draped in time and mystery and a thousand stories of love and sorrow – and I was running through it unaware of the magnitude of the moment or the place; running on the edge of many other lives. Each step a sound, an echo, a ripple back to other moments and adventures. At times the trail was nothing but a blur, at other times I took in its great detail. I passed numerous shelters that wildlife had used, hollowed trunks and burrows. I wondered about the shelter I have found in the Word of God and in His faithfulness. As I crashed down a steep descent I felt His courage rise within me. As I began a steep climb with no energy left within me, I found His strength sufficient to each step. And as I ran, as I pushed beyond the limits I had known it seemed in some measure that I needed to set myself aside, to die to my efforts –again and again, casting myself on Him, on His sure faithfulness. With each moment I needed to die to me so that I could live to Him.

The great curtain of forest hangs before us all with every trail we run. This wonderland of beauty carries us away with its loveliness and seems to press us into another world beyond. The trails we run are not the simple trails of creatures earthbound and common. Rather, these trails – they are pathways to the heart, trails to truer things. These trails let us dance and weave along eternity’s glimmering edge. We play in this timeless majesty. We are hearing the sounds of heaven in the small gurgling brooks, catching the fragrance of His glory in the ancient aroma of the woodlands, and feeling the wing of an angel on the edge of a passing breeze. Step high, my friend, along these trails that we run together. Oh, may we run hard and true. Step high for we encounter things more sacred and pure than ever we would have thought. We hear the voice of God as He whispers to our hearts for we have seen Him painting a canvas with every trail we have ever run.


Mel Arroz said...

Did you wave when you flew over Boise?

Henry said...

I did not wave, but I looked out the window. I was thinking about my upcoming 50 mile run near Pocatello, ID, and looking forward to spending time with you guys.