I ran long yesterday, too long to think too much about it before I began, measuring it out not in terms of miles but in landmarks, in sections, by snickers, and by where to get water. Sometimes you just have to tie your shoes, start your watch, and plunge forward. The road seemed endless, but it wove through the wonders of God’s handiwork. I stand awestruck, continually amazed by the beauty, even on a foggy morning, even in the perfectly symmetrical spider webs clinging to the barbed wire fences glistening with dew in the early morning light. Beams of sunlight like spotlights penetrated the canopy of trees and reminded me that even in the darkest, densest turmoil of your life, God’s light will search you out. There is nothing too deep.
I was breathing heavy up one of the steepest slopes on the road, gravity unrelenting, my energy flagging, my doubts about this running quest were rising, when I glanced into the dense brush surrounding me, and there quietly, silently gazing at me was a deer, just watching with its enormous eyes, as if he had been there all along, his invisible presence surprising me and prompting me to keep going. The deer reminded me that God is here. He has been here all along, silently waiting for me to look up from my drudgery and recognize Him. I just wasn’t looking. How much have I missed? How often do I think that I am all alone in this? His Presence makes all the difference. His Presence changes everything.
I finished with tired legs and a deep thirst. It was not just a run. It is hardly ever just a run.
(written in my journal September 5)