Sunday, March 31, 2013

Impromptu 15 and a Journey Down Memory Lane

It was yesterday morning and the forecast was second to none: sun and rising temperatures. Ever since the groundhog committed suicide to leading a world astray via its early prediction of Spring, I've been dying to get my shorts out and a short sleeve tech tee. While the temperature at First Light was 29F, I donned a pair of Brooks shorts and my "see me a mile away" bright orange Buzzard 50K Brooks tech tee..and a pair of gloves to keep the freeze at bay for awhile and hit the road.

I had no real agenda, route, or target distance. I just wanted to run. The birds were just beginning to sing and the blades of grass were crispy white. My hands were cold at first but everything else felt fine as no wind was blowing. Within a few miles, I had warmed up and was so glad I wore what I wore. I doubt the passers-by thought the same thing. I can only imagine the "Look at that crazy guy!!!" comments as they passed.

I will admit, I did have somewhat of an agenda for the run and it had nothing to do with calories. For me, my faith, my walk...running is what provides the time for me to do "business" with the One and Only...my heavenly Father. The distractions of life are removed and often, miles simply slip away as we "talk." I had plenty to talk about yesterday. As the run progressed, I decided I'd make it a run through my past. All within my small rural town, I lived in four homes as a child and was married here. By each home I ran by: the little house first where we ripped the walls down and remodeled. The house where I remember getting a TV for Christmas which was hidden in a closet. I remember those old slats in the wall with plaster dust everywhere. I don't remember anything else from that house. The old farmhouse was next where I recall very little...only where my bedroom was. I do remember getting off the schoolbus once, holding a bag of supposed chocolate chip cookies that a childhood friend gave me as a present. Turns out, they weren't chocolate chips...they were chocolate-flavored ExLax. I ate the whole bag. 'nuf said about that! Once past this house, the mighty hills followed, the temperature was rising and sun blaring. God and I kept talking...doing business. As the next home appeared, I remembered more from this one. This was the last home I lived in prior to heading to the Navy and getting married. Not a lot of good memories here, though. Memories, nonetheless. I do remember, though, forgetting to set the emergency brake on my dad's truck and it rolled backwards, across the yard towards the street and only stopped because it slammed into a tree. I still remember trying to replace that entire steel bumper all by myself...my punishment. Moving past this house, I came upon a nature preserve, called the Triangle Lake Bog. It's a tiny preserve in my tiny town that most just drive by. The gate was still down but I ran on by and down the long paved driveway. Here was my view...beautiful, isn't it?! As the sun rays blared across the roadway, I can just feel the heat and light.
I figured: "No one can touch me back here. Just God and me." We kept on talking. Here's the thing about doing "business" with God...we can't ever out-transact Him. Doing business in this world always involves giving and taking. I give you something in exchange for something received. We have such an awesome God who will take, take, and take our burdens, struggles, and pains and gives us a limitless grace that has no end. We can never out-give Him via our actions and works here in this world. It's an impossibility yet He never stops showering us with gifts that have no end. How blessed we are!!! Yet, so many times we feel the need to hold on to those things and control them...instead of giving them up. Knowing His promise to never leave us nor forsake us and going to Him daily results in a life filled with more peace and closeness with Him. He is standing by to bless us and pull us close...yet, our sinful nature is to push away. If only we wouldn't.

The bog was crispy white as the sun had not quite yet melted it away. The new cover photo at the top of the blog is from the short walkway at the bog. After a few minutes walking through the bog, I continued on, but only after snapping a few more photos to remember the brief visit.
See the ducks?


As the miles racked up, I passed the church where I sealed my covenant with my wife over 20 years ago. I still remember her blotchy red skin as she walked down the aisle and lighting the candles on stage. I also remember that annoying rice pelting me in the face as we left the church. So many memories from that church as a kid from the 5th grade through high school to marriage. I could still see it all. Not too far from there is the house my dad built that moved us to the area when I was 10. Running past it, it looks nearly the same. I don't remember much from there with exception of the rabbit hutch out back. I had a California Rex rabbit...the ones that are bright white with red eyes. I was in the local 4-H club back then. That's the reason you'll never catch me eating rabbit...how could I?!? Not too far later...about 2 1/2 miles, I returned home. 15 miles. I felt great. It sure was an emotional run in many ways but as always, I'm a better man, father, and husband because of it. I even burned some calories as a bonus. You might say I "ran happy". :-)

Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen! Risen indeed.

1 comment:

Joel said...

I've got to run there some time! Beautiful!