Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Into The Woods

The pathway of my morning run is a familiar one by design.  I have run it enough that I know-- without nary a thought --when to turn, when to switch to the sidewalk, where is the best place to cross the train tracks, and when is the point of “heading back home.”   Of course, this comes in handy in my early morning mental fog, running before my morning cup of coffee kicks in.  It also comes in handy when I am deep in thought, praying through the day or for friends who are struggling, or simply writing in my head.  It is like an organic internal GPS.  A voice does not tell me where to turn – I just follow the path before me.


One place on my daily trek is an old railway line that was converted back in the 1960s into a running/walking/cycling path.  On the weekends, the trail is crowded with adults and kids on bicycles, moms and dads with jogging strollers, old friends conversing, and runners training singly or in pairs.  Weekday mornings, there are commuters walking toward the train station and cyclists hurrying to work, but for the most part, it is just a quiet sanctuary of trees to run through.  This morning, fog was added to the mix, and it looked a bit mysterious as if out of a Jane Austen novel.  One section is particularly shaded, great on a hot summer’s day, but sometimes a bit creepy on a foggy morning.  I was running on this section this morning, looking for where the next street crosses at the train station.  What if I enter this path someday and the train station is not at the end?  What if I come out somewhere else…..or five years later in my life?  How will things be different?  How will I be different?


We are all traveling on paths designed by God for His Kingdom and for our good.  We cannot know what turns the paths will take or if indeed the expected train station will be at the end, but we can be assured of a few things:  God is with us to provide strength for the journey, wisdom to handle what we encounter on the way, grace to deal with those we meet, and His purposes manifest in our lives.  It will all make sense someday.  Take your tool belt with you…and make prayer the first thing you reach for.  Five years from now—or today – may not be what you planned, but it is firmly lodged in His plans.  We have only to run with Him through it.  And perhaps, be surprised at the next intersection where He has brought you.  You may have come further than you thought, or landed at a destination not even on your radar.

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