At forty-six, it seems I am starting over and really trying to discover who I am, what things are really important to me and where do I go from here. It’s like being at a crossroads with no road map and wondering, “How do I get to where I am going and where exactly am I going at this point in my life?” Running is a place I come to and in this place I find the mental solitude to press on and move forward in the circumstances of life.
Growing up in a small town where there isn’t much of anything, but trouble, I floundered about finding trouble on more than one occasion. Life’s harsh and cruel lessons disciplining me not so mercifully. I discovered early on that life wasn’t fair and that most people don’t much care about anyone outside of themselves. Sad, but true; tough to comprehend at twelve, fifteen or even eighteen years of age. Struggling at an early age with self-identity and self-image lead to many wrong choices along the way for me, but somehow those choices were preparing me for a future not even I could have imagined. A future that would someday allow me to share with others by encouraging and motivating them to never give up, to embrace the change and face the challenges that life bring knowing that trials and tribulations would come because the bible tells us so. Many seem shocked when they find themselves in the midst of the storm. Some storms created by our own choices and some storms created by the choices of others, but either way, the storms come. I have experienced success on both ends, professionally and personally. I have made choices that were good and I have made choices that were bad, none of which I regret. Recognizing that all the choices I made, shaped and developed me…my values, my beliefs and my ideals in this life. Those same choices gave me my children, my family, my friends, my job…my life. Now I find I run this road alone uncertain of where it may take me seeing the storm clouds of life all about me. I search for ways to find comfort, a way to ease the fear, a way to deal with today and prepare for tomorrow. I seek out a relationship with my God and I meet him at the door with my shoes laced up and ready to run.
Even now as the fear comes, the problems mount and I search for solutions, I run and find comfort and peace. In running, my mind moves, taking me down short halls and long corridors to unknown, untraveled places. My mind explores the avenues of my future looking and hoping for a glimpse at the possibility. Other times, I run the back alleys in the darkness searching for answers to things that may never be found. Often times, I sprint in desperation, in need of an answer and out of breath I stop and let it go knowing the answer is not to be found on this day and maybe never…And still I run. And still He meets me there.
I run out the door and through the glorious times up to the mountain top and I savor those moments in my life. I run and I commemorate the small victories that seem as if they are some momentous occasion to be celebrated with a zeal for life unmatched by any other. I run down into the valleys of grief and sorrow and fear and doubt. I run where the flood waters rise up and seem as if they will overtake me. I run and I find release in the storm and the waters recede. I run and I run… and I am cleansed and unashamed, my emotions are raw and revealed available for all to see. Sometimes, I run aimlessly not even mindful of my surroundings only looking to escape the harsh realities of what lie ahead and preparing for the inevitable that will surely com e. I run and I seek higher counsel and I pray. I pray for insight and discernment… wisdom and knowledge. I run and I seek the answers for only which He has the solution. I run and I am thankful…thankful for God’s mercy and grace wondering why he loves me, but knowing that he loves me regardless and I am humbled in his presence. He goes before me when I run, He strides along beside me when I run, and He follows me wherever I go when I run. When I run I come into relationship with my God and I love him and he loves me.
Running is the best thing I ever did for me. It is my time with my God. It is on this road that I travel that I run the race of life. I run and I endure. I run and I persevere. I run and I prosper. I run and I am broken. I run and I am renewed. I run and I plan. I run and I find hope for a better tomorrow. I just run….