I am a runner. I absolutely LOVE to run.
It started in high school as a way simply to stay in shape. I had tried softball and volleyball, both endeavors only revealed that I had two left feet. Or something like that. Something that meant I was not a softball or volleyball player. :) Running was something I could do that would keep me in shape. I ran on the track team and later the cross country team at my Alma Mater, Hartselle High School. Never won a race or even came close, but I ran to stay in shape. My goal wasn't to win. I would have just gone to the daily practice runs and not run a race on the weekends if I could have. (A lack of competitiveness may be linked to the "Mary" personality. Some might call it Type B. I've always said I was Type Z. The farthest from Type A that you can get. HA!)
As an adult though, running has become so much more to me. Running for me is the ultimate worship experience, a high of communion with God. It engages all of my senses. I breathe in the perfect, pure, untarnished God-air, the perfect mix of oxygen created by an Almighty God for us, His image bearers. People spend tons of money to purify their air, to make their air smell good. I do it too with my oil diffuser. But God created the perfect air, and when I'm outside and breathing it in, I am reminded of the perfect purification of His air moving into my lungs. My body is moving to the rhythm of the music in my ears and I rejoice that He made my body with the amazing ability to run, to move my legs, to get my heart pumping and my blood circulating. My whole body feels as if God is energizing and empowering it to move. The music becomes worship, even if it isn't "worship music". This morning I was listening to "Yellow" by Coldplay and the sliver of a moon was still visible, the sunrise was showing, as I heard the words, "Look how they shine for you!" The Creator illumines and illustrates and I am called to worship Him as I relish it. There is no crayon that can capture the green of the leaves, or the silvery white of the frost on the grass, or the pink on the horizon signaling the rising of the sun. He is other-than, greater-than, anything we can recreate. Even when I try to take a picture of the beauty, it falls short. All I find myself saying over and over on my run is, "Thank You! Wow! Thank You! Amazing! Thank You!" As I approached my house again at the end of the 3.3 miles, I looked at the huge trees beside our driveway and was overwhelmed at the thought that, many years ago, someone planted that tree, God breathed life into the seed and blessed it, knowing that many years later the Rodgers family would live there and enjoy that tree. I just stood there for a moment and thanked Him for those trees He planted and allowed us to enjoy.
I came back inside and tried to explain this passion to my family over breakfast. I'm not sure that they "got it", so let me say what I need to say about it here and maybe one day when they are older they will read it.
Thank you for the many times you gave your Momma the time to run. It was invaluable to me. I hope that you too will find joy in running, but if you don't find the same passion for running that I do, I pray that you find something similar. I pray that you find something that makes you come alive the way running makes me come alive. Something that engages your senses and draws you into worship of your Creator God. Something that energizes you, that uplifts you, that causes you to say, "Wow" deep within your soul. I want that experience for you. I want you to know the joy of completing a difficult task, running up that hill or finishing that mile well, and giving God the glory in it. I want you to experience wonder and beauty and the seeing of your Creator in the details of His creation. I want you to sense His presence, His smile, His countenance on you as you engage in something for which you must draw from the deep recesses of your abilities. I pray that you will find your "run".
I needed those times like I needed air to breathe. Thank you.