Woke up this morning determined to make this a better day. Well, that was before Andrew awoke with a chest-wheezing cough and sore throat, so I made the first detour of the day by taking him to clinic care. We sat around kids that were coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and doing various other things I will choose not to discuss in this public format. Doc says he's only suffering fluid buildup and allergy-related maladies, so two prescriptions and one doctor's note later, we're back at the Four Sixes ranch.
Since I already had on my running clothes, I left AJ with the housekeeper and hit the trail a bit before 10 am. I tried something I've never willingly done before---decided to run with no music whatsoever, just listening to the Nike trainer updating my mileage. I've never run in silence....but surprisingly, I enjoyed it. Seemed like I was more in tune with my body, and I was able to think about things more clearly. And prayer, well, prayer came alot easier...it was more like a conversation I had with God, just the two of us, as I was taking in all of the beauty He's put around us, even here in parched old Wichita Falls.
During my 3 1/2 mile run, my mind keeps replaying parts of the long sequence in the movie "Forrest Gump" where Forrest just decides to start running, and doesn't stop for months. That's not going to happen to anyone in real life, but in my mind it made some strange sort of sense to me. Whenever I'm outside, pounding the pavement, just me and my thoughts, I think lucidly and thoughtfully. I'm more prayerful. I'm more appreciative of the world that God's given me to run in, and I am able to process the wild, sad menagerie of emotion ruling my life in a more realistic fashion.
I came back to the house full of natural endorphins and a more soulful heart due to repeated prayer. My day seemed to go better. Coincidence? I don't think so. I'll give it another try tomorrow.
Tonight, about half an hour before sunset, Benny and I head up to the trail on our bikes (Andrew still wasn't 100%). We biked about 2 miles, and caught the end of the lovely sunset from one of the benches.
He's so proud of his new bike and is quick to give me all sorts of biking tips---and I'm taking them, since I haven't riden a bike much in years. We talked, we giggled, we took in the sights. And as he's flashing me that million dollar, girls-will-get-weak-in-the-knees smile, below those chocolate brown eyes that really twinkle, I say, "You know what, Benny? I really think we're going to be alright. God's taken care of us so far, and He won't let us down." He keeps on smiling, nods his head, and beckons me to get back onto my new bike (formerly Mark's) and we head for home, this time with him in the lead.
And as I watch him weave back and forth, riding in front of me, I wonder if this is how we look to God---He's watching us, not too far away, as we weave and sometimes wobble our way down the path of life. We may have on safety gear, but it doesn't keep us from getting bumped & bruised when we fall. And if we get too far ahead, or try to be too brave without Him, He calls to us to slow down. When we do inevitably fall off the trail, He's there to pick us up, dust us off, attend to our bleeding wounds, and carry us until we're able to ride (or walk or jog or run) again. I certainly won't mind being carried for awhile longer....and I trust that He'll know when to put me down and where the trail leads. Amen.