I fear that I as I head back to school for another exciting school year, many people are going to inquire as to what I did with my three month. The fear derives from the reality that my answer will be rather…basic?
I ran. A lot.
Knowing that within the next few days I’ll be reporting back to school has given me an opportunity to do a mental recap over the summer, and truth be told, without shame, this summer really did revolve around running. I logged a lot of miles in the few months apart from the school year.
While some were difficult, emotional, and challenging, some, such as the experience I had this weekend, were soul fulfilling.
I’ve struggled for recent months (in some cases years) with the current condition of the Church that flies its banner within the political confines of the country that I exist in. Truthfully, the concept and questioning has come to a head over the past several weeks. Notably it’s been stated that running really can provide an amazing opportunity to experience worship. That may sound strange to those who hate running, but to those who lace up frequently, I feel that, that knowledge maybe understood.
Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to stretch out my mileage with some amazing friends early on in the morning hours. Originally I chalked up as just another run, and another chance to log mileage for myself.
What I, shamefully, hadn’t planned on was the experience with God through the miles of wilderness.
Imagine having to take the first mile in stride, seeing only a few feet before due to limitation of dawn’s light. Through mile two and three you begin to coexist with reality for the day. The sky has lightened, life has returned, and you are merely another creature moving about the planet. No talking, no noise, just the idle, repetitive footsteps through God’s terrain. Miles four through six show the ultimate event horizon, where your existence blends into the dirt that you’re attempting to cover. The overhead rocks show your small stature in the world outside of man, and the gentle breeze reminds you of how much you are loved. The final miles bring about celebration! A mix of adrenaline and grace streams through your presence; you recognize how small you really are, and yet how important your life truly is. Finishing eight miles in the woods on a random Saturday morning was not just about logging the required mileage. It was about the opportunity to reconnect to a place, to an entity bigger than ourselves.
So, when people ask what I did this summer. I’ll think back to my random journey’s through the woods and I’ll smile and simply say…
I worshipped. A lot.