It rained here this weekend, so I decided to postpone my run until today. It wasn’t torrential rain, but hard and steady, and my mood reflected it all weekend. I haven’t run long in a few weeks, but I decided today’s run would be short, then, hopefully, I’ll run tomorrow and Thursday, and be ready for a long run on Saturday, if Gary’s surgery goes well on Friday.
I got up this morning looking forward to the run, something that hasn’t happened in a few weeks. I gulped a cup of coffee, got Gary all set, then I headed out to the Trace to pound a little pavement. It was cool and overcast, with a light misting of rain, and I relished the ability to get out and go for a run. The run was excellent, just the right amount of hard and easy; rain misting, then sun peeking out. And, as usual, that made me reflect on how much running mirrors life.
I know you’ve heard it often, that life is a marathon, not a sprint. And, it is. We’re in this for the long haul, so we better pay attention to our training, eat well, rest well, live, laugh, and love. But, sometimes the storms of life make that difficult. Life is full of storms, some particularly devastating. A cancer diagnosis, a sudden job loss, a car accident, the unexpected death of a loved one. No one expects us to run through those; and, thankfully those storms are pretty rare. They produce adrenaline that pushes us through to the other side, relatively unscathed. No running required. Just the ability to hang in until we can function again.
Today’s run reminded me of the other real “storms” of life. The sneaky ones. The little things that eat away at our joy, erode our happiness, steal our faith, if we let them. You know the ones I’m talking about. Months after the car accident, the pain that still lingers. Or, having to take a job that you hate in order to provide for your family. You think, I can walk or I can pay my bills, so I should be thankful. Yet, still the mist keeps falling. You have to keep wiping it out of your eyes to be able to see, and the view ahead seems bleak and unchanging. The trick is to just keep running. Stay faithful to the course and keep your eyes on Him.
At the end of my run today, two beautiful, graceful deer crossed ahead of me, directly in the path of a sunbeam. They stood majestically and looked at me, paused long enough to make me think I could get a picture, then flounced quickly into the woods and melted from view. They made me smile and give thanks for rainy day runs. There’s always a reward for staying the course. The sun will shine again. Depend on it. And, sometimes, it will even bring a glimpse of majesty with it.
“Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never gone running in the rain.”** The rain makes us remember and appreciate the beauty of the sunny days. But, it also has a music all its own. One that is necessary to soothe our troubled souls.
27 He draws up the water vapor and then distills it into rain. 28 The rain pours down from the clouds, and everyone benefits.29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven? Job 36:27-29
**(Yes, I did play fast and loose with that quote-it actually is about dancing in the rain, but since I don’t dance, and dancing in the rain seems a little more problematic to me than running, I changed it to suit my needs. 😉 )