It was one year ago that I felt this prompt, this whisper in my spirit to set the alarm for 5:30am, actually wake up, lace up my jogging shoes and meet the Lord on the back roads for a morning jog. I ignored this prick for weeks, and finally, to see if I was just hearing things, or if there was any validity to my thoughts, I decided to do it.
As I warmed my legs up that first morning I prayed as I made my way to what would be my starting point. I prayed for God to show me something in this quiet time with him. I didn’t want to just exercise physically, but also spiritually.
I surrendered every part of the run I could think of, down to where to go and how far. Could He, does He lead in details such as that?
Sometimes He did. I would feel this sense to go a little further, and when I did, God would show me something amazing. I’ve written posts called, Sunrises, Wonderful Well Water, Uphill both ways and many more from such journeys.
Since coming home from Kenya, my runs have been different. There’s been this silence. No words, no taking me special places, it’s almost like He’s said, “You know your course, just run it.”
I actually thought of quitting. It’s hard waking up that early, every other day for me. I did quit, for a week, and at the end of the week I felt terrible. Not because I felt I let God down. No, physically, I felt yucky. So I decided to continue with the habit of running regardless if I felt like it or not, whether I heard anything or not, just go run.
So I have. And the silence stopped. Words have filled my spirit again, lessons in daily life as I trudge down the street in the glimmer of early morning light. This morning, in particular, I went farther than my normal turn around mark and began heading straight into the sun. I had to pull the bill of my cap down further to keep the rays from blinding me. I ran on, thinking about stories such as HEAT that I’ve written before. The only thing I could see was the pavement from the brim of my cap down to my alternating shoes. When I reached the pole to turn around, and my back finally had a turn in the intense rays, I straightened up my shoulders, shifted my cap back to normal, took a deep breath and looked around at the beautiful scenery flooding my view.
My thoughts took a turn and thought about the events of the past year. Sometimes, when God’s light is shining down brightly on you like the morning sunrise, all you can do is focus on what’s right in front of you. Step. Step. Step. That’s all you can do. That’s all He gives you. You try to look up, search for a finish line, a focus point, but you can’t. The glare is blinding. So you look back down. But eventually, when time passes and the sun begins to set, the light shifts direction. Before you know it, you can push the cap back, straighten your shoulders and look around. You see the trees in full bloom. A pasture freshly cut with the hay littering the ground. You take in a deep breath and say, “Wow, it’s so beautiful!”
That’s where I am. I’m looking around at all the scenery I missed because my head’s been down focused on so many lessons the Lord has been teaching me. Hard lessons.
So I want to encourage you. Where are you in this journey of life? Is your head down? If it is, let me say, it won’t be down forever. Maybe it’s down in sadness or pain. Maybe you feel the HEAT of the Savior’s glance your way and you feel Him pruning areas out of your life. Maybe you even feel bruised as you do some intense plucking of things yourself and you’re scared. Fear knocks at the door of your heart with threats of “What if…What about…Remember when…”
Slam the door in its face and run away. Sometimes all we can do is lower the brim of our hat to silence the lies, to shut out the things that scream at us and focus on running the race marked out for us the best way we know how.
You can do it. Eventually time will pass and the intensity will change directions. One day all our burdens will be lifted and we will enter into the land of Glory where we can look around and gaze at the beauty of our Savior who has walked with us every step of the way and used those head down seasons for His glory.
Remember: Today is the last day to get your name in the hat for a $30 Spa gift certificate. Locations in Lindale and Emory. Ways of entering include, share this post via email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, leave a comment below, Like my Facebook page are all ways to sign up. Check out 5 Ways to Win for more details.
Photo credit: Flickr