Thursday morning my alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. and I had a decision to make… I had stayed up pretty late the night before hanging out with all the awesome women in my lifegroup and I had to decide whether sleep or a run would fill the next 30 minutes of my time. In once sense, the choice seemed to have an obvious answer… sleep of course! However, from the breese coming in the window, I could tell it was also a gorgeous morning outside… perfect for a quick run before getting ready for work.
Despite my desire to curl back up under the blankets, I somehow managed to get out of bed, put on my running shoes, and head out the door for 2.5 mile journey straight down Sweet Home to the entrance of UB and back. The weather was indeed gorgeous and my mp3 player had hit a jackpot of amazing songs. As I was encouraged to “dance in the freedom” of God and reminded to recall the blessing in this new day God had before me, I was SOOO glad I got out of bed that morning. Then… the battery in my mp3 player died.
Very sad. I was enjoying running along, praising God and enjoying the beautiful morning he made. “Now,” I thought “I just have to listen to the noisy traffic driving by.”
In the long run (no pun intended), this was the best thing that could have happened to me that morning. As I neared the halfway point of my run and turned around, God brought a certain person to mind and I decided to take the time to pray for her. Before I knew it I had a mental list going of people and things to pray for and as soon as I’d lift one thing up in prayer I’d go to the next thing on the list. There I went running and praying…. giving thanks… confessing sins… asking for guidance in decisions to be made… praying for friends… for family… for my teammates at work… for the ministry of First Trinity… for the high school students and young adults… for the seniors that just graduated… for next year’s programs and that God would raise up leaders to serve in them… for situations going on in my life.
Before I knew it, I was back at my front door… but I wasn’t finished praying yet.
Without really thinking about it, I turned around and kept running. At that point, I thought I’d just run back to the corner of Sweet Home and Skinnersville and back… about an extra half mile… but something kept me going… I kept running… I kept praying. Each step that I took and each prayer prayed made my heart and mind just a little lighter. Again and again I prayed, “Okay God, and here’s the next person/situation/request/praise in my heart” and in my continual forward motion step by step, it was as if I truly placed each request or praise into His control trusting that He would take care of whatever needed to be done.
As I was wrapping up my run (which ended up being DOUBLE what I had planned to run that morning… and quite a bit longer than I had run in a very long time) God also reminded me of a verse I read just the day before:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by sucha great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everythign that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scornign its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
That morning I was able to do just that… to leave the worries, the burdens, the sin that so easily entangles behind and move forward. I may have been running “away” from my prayers, leaving them on the sidewalk behind me, but I think that’s okay when you’re running toward the author and perfector of our faith, Jesus.
I’m not so sure my legs were a fan of my 5-mile journey Thursday morning… but my heart sure was!