This morning I was reluctant to go running. I was much too comfortable as I lay in bed; and yet the Lord mercifully aroused me. I ate some oatmeal (oats, walnuts, raisins, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon), made a coffee, and was out the door. I drove to Hyland Park, arriving shortly before 8am. My run was undefined. It was raining. How many times have I begun in this way? How many times have I simply pushed beyond the immediate resistance and made my way to the trail? This is so vital to my heart. I need to apprehend afresh how weak and vulnerable I am. I need to push beyond it until I understand that it is God who gives me the strength and will to run. It is God who fills me with the desire to live and love beyond my limits. It is God who opens His wonders to me along every trail and avenue that I have ever traveled. Here am I – ever so reluctant to be blessed by God Himself. Here am I running in the rain.
As we run our trails, we frequently must push beyond our natural limitations. It is only in the vast expanse of the unknown where we learn to listen and cling most dearly to our Lord. Today I ran a little over 8 miles in just over 2 hours, climbing 2352 feet and descending about the same. Often the trails are new to us, untried. Sometimes the trails are numbingly familiar. But we run them all the same. Since returning from Shenzhen, China I've covered about 80 miles running familiar routes – Purgatory, Hyland, Birch Island, and others. Usually, I'd select my distance to coincide with those times when I felt weakest, or a time of day that would be the hottest and most difficult. It is good for me to push myself beyond my natural boundaries; to discover anew that I am not alone. There is another with me on the trail. I am sustained by Him. We share the joys and sorrows of the way. In times of plenty, there is rejoicing. In times of want, there is quiet reliance and trust. It is the Lord along the trail who faithfully teaches me. I need Him with every step.