I love to run.
Actually, I used to hate it. When I was a kid in school, I dreaded the days when we’d have to run timed events in gym class. I wasn’t fast, so I was always a bit embarrassed when our 50- and 100-yard dash times were posted on the bulletin board in the hallway outside the physical education office.
But these days, I actually enjoy lacing on sneakers and going for a run.
Maybe it’s the scenery and the solitude that strikes me. And the fact that I can burn approximately 100 calories per mile is a bonus.
Certainly, I find it personally rewarding to tick off each mile I cover, knowing God is helping me to kick back at the potentially crippling medical condition with which I was diagnosed several years ago.
Anyway, running along woodsy trails and county roads sets me to thinking about goals, plans, and life directions. I regard these moments as downtime, even though my body may be working overtime, because my attention is much more focused.
Cars, bicycles, and faster runners may zip past.
But, in a larger sense, it’s just me and God out there.
Those are the times when God seems to speak clearest to me. He pokes me with purpose. He reminds me of responsibilities. He prods my pride. He stirs my spirit.
And He astonishes me with the beauty of His creation.
He also guards me from all sorts of dangers I may not even notice.
I’ve heard branches fall across the path – right behind me. I’ve read reports of roadway crashes that occurred fairly soon after I arrived home from a run. And I am fully aware that there may be coyotes, bears, and other untamed creatures in the forests near the running paths.
Sure, He expects us to use common sense and keep our wits about us. It would be downright foolish for me to strike out on a solo run through the woods at midnight, as if to dare the Lord to keep dangers at bay.
Clearly, He could.
But God calls us to be wise and brave, following His lead and going under His guidance. Therein lies the blessing.
The Lord says,
“I will guide you
along the best pathway
for your life.
I will advise you
and watch over you.”
(Psalm 32:8, NLT)
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