It’s hot folks. I don’t really have to tell you that, I am sure, for if you live in the US, you are aware that a heat wave has been all over the nation. But, yeah, it’s hot, and when it is this hot, you really shouldn’t decide to run, while it is over 90 degrees outside. And if you do decide to run when it is over 90 outside, you just really shouldn’t get the gumption to run 8 miles; just sayin’. But if you are like me (a.k.a.- hard headed and determined), if you set your mind to run 8 miles on a Saturday, you are going to make it happen, even if you did not wake up early and set off much sooner, when it was cooler.
So, yeah, that was me a week ago: stupidly running in 90 something degree weather on a route that made an 8 mile circle from and to home.
It definitely was not one of my brightest ideas, but it was an idea that I executed.
While I was running, I was talking with God, which is one reason why I need to run. I was keeping a good pace too, I might add, despite the heat. The heat and lack of shade or breeze, however, was beginning to get the best of me, and I was beginning to wonder if I should just stop. While one foot pounded the pavement in front of the other, I realized that stopping would just prolong the process of getting home, for the quickest way back home was to keep running the loop.
I soon came up with a hope: Perhaps I will see someone I know and he/she can take me home. Solution found! Alas, about a mile and a new wind later, I realized that I was going to be just fine and able to finish soundly. So, step by step I continued.
About half a mile later, I saw someone I knew. Mr. L stuck his head out the window of his truck and yelled, “You are a long way from home!” To which I responded, “Yes, and I came from that way!” while pointing to signify that I was making a loop and was really far from home. “Are you okay?” Mr. L asked. “Yes,” I replied, “just hot!”
As he drove off and I keep striding, it dawned on me that I could have asked him to take me home! I had let the opportunity pass, but in all actuality, I did not need the ride anymore, for I only had 2 miles left and I knew that 1 1/2 of it was going to be my first bit of shade. What I really needed was water. I then mentally kicked myself for not asking Mr. L for some, for I know full well he would have driven to his house, gotten me some, and then drove back to find me again.
As I pondered the water that I could have almost had, I realized how badly I
wanted needed it. Again, it was over 90 and I was at this point about 6 1/4 miles into a run of just over 8. I had been thinking the whole run of how if someone had one some sprinklers, I could just run into one of them, lap up some water, and keep right on the journey. Suddenly, as I approached a vacant warehouse at the end of my road, I saw a lovely sight: multiple sprinklers spraying crystal clear and cold water! You better believe that I picked up the pace in order to get to it.
I bent down and managed to gather some water in my cupped hands in order to drink. I felt a little silly, but the small amount of water I was able to obtain was priceless in the heat. The spray of the water over my face and arms as I drank was so refreshing. I only consumed a bit, but it would be enough to help me pound out the last two miles, keeping with my pace.
As I finished off the final leg of my route, everything suddenly clicked. I now saw the perfect spiritual application. Bear with me as I give you a spiritual repeat….
Sometimes, you set out on a path or journey that is really not the best choice. It is working toward 100 and only a crazy would choose to run in that heat. You know better, but you are too stubborn to say no. So, you go.
While going, even though you were the idiot, God still has your best interests in mind. Just when you think you can not go any longer and you want an out, you keep staying the course because you really have no other choice, and God sustains you. He then sends people along the way to check in on you, to offer support. A few miles back you would have given in but since you pressed on past the moment of weakness, you do not need it. Instead, you just appreciate the concern.
And when you are thirsty, God hears you. He does not give you a stone. Instead, he quenches your thirst, even though you were the fool that set off without a plan for water.
He’s looking out for you, even when you are the one with the bad idea and in the wrong. He does not rest, but He watches your steps, He sings over you, and He wants you to trust His provision so that you will not be weak.
That’s right my friends, I’m the one completely in the wrong and He still did not leave or forsake me. What a mighty and good God!
And He does it all while I am a long, long way away from my true home.