Saturday, December 12, 2009

God on the Greenway: The Last Run

It’s December. The days are shorter and it’s getting colder. Some people actually bundle up and run outside in this weather. Me? Not likely! Even though I REALLY miss running on the Greenway, I think I will just stick to doing Turbo Jam at home until Spring comes.

The last time I ran on the Greenway was late October. I remember how nice the weather was and thinking that it would probably be my last run. So, I just tried to enjoy it and take it all in. The Fall scenery was colorful and beautiful and I was listening to worship music on my iPod. I also reflected on the many things that God has taught me during my runs this year (and the blessed fact that I had even begun running!). It certainly had been an amazing and unexpected journey!

I’ve enjoyed blogging about the many things that have touched my heart as I’ve run on the Greenway. I’ve shared most of them, but there were also many time where I just let myself “be”. Often times, I get so excited about sharing things that I don’t enjoy the moment enough to learn it first myself. I remember when God impressed that concept upon me in 2008. It happened as I was searching for the meaning/lesson in a driving adventure in which I got messed up in my directions. I knew God was trying to teach me something, but I was so caught up in it that I couldn’t learn at all! That’s when this profound statement came to mind: “You’re too busy looking for a lesson to learn one.” I’ve never forgotten that!! Therefore, I have been learning to take the pressure off myself when it comes to blogging. As much as I like to learn and share, I don’t want to miss being fully present in the moment by wondering too much about what I should learn and how I will blog/share it later. I’ve been able to enjoy my runs with God (and life in general) a lot more that way! ;) I still need work, though!

I’m finding that things flow a lot easier when I start to relax and just “be”. If God wants to show me something, He will. If not, I don’t have to worry about learning something if all He wants me to do is just enjoy His creation and His presence. Sometimes, that’s all that is necessary. Maybe even the biggest lesson is that there is no lesson. Kind of like the days in which I would run from my house to the Greenway instead of driving there. I usually took the same route and on my way there, there’s a building that I run past. I don’t know if it’s vacant or what, but the front door has a window in it and right there at that window is a life-size cardboard cutout of John Wayne. I remember being startled the first time or two I passed it! I thought it was an actual person and it took me off-guard! However, I got used to it quickly and jokingly started giving a wave or a head nod to it as I smiled and ran past. I also started thinking of ways how I might incorporate Mr. Wayne into a Greenway blog. However, it never happened. The only thing that ever came to my mind about “Cardboard Wayne” is that he just is what he is. In fact, he sort of became my little reminder about the “no lesson” concept. Running by him reminded me to just be present and enjoy fun and unexpected things like him without having to make relevant sense out of it.

My last run was a “Cardboard Wayne” kind of run. I didn’t think about learning or blogging; I just decided to run and enjoy!! It was a good and peaceful run. I was able to run the full four miles which ended up being 60 minutes and over 800 calories burned. I was pretty happy about that!!

The one thing that I thought would be the icing on the cake was if I could come back and take some pictures! I had always intended to take some of the Greenway, but never remembered to bring my camera with me. Since I happened to finally think of it (and had a little bit of time left before my small group) I decided to go home and get my camera and come back. The colors of autumn had been very generous to the Greenway; I knew I just had to take some photos!

Mitch and the kids came back with me to the Greenway. I had Mitch drop me off at one end and meet me at the other (that way, I would only have to
walk two miles instead of four round-trip). Normally, I wouldn’t have minded doing four, but I didn’t have much tim
e and I had already run four for the first time in a while (and my hips were already feelin
g it). It took me 75 minutes to walk those two miles and take all the shots that I wanted. And, at the end of the Greenway, there is a bench where I often sit to rest, reflect, pray, and praise God after my run. I used my tri-pod to take a picture of myself on that bench (and in the positi
on I am usually in). I hope you enjoy the photos!! (Just click here).

Grace and peace to all of you!! I pray that the things I have learned have also helped someone else in their faith journey! We’re all in this together!! God bless you all!!

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