I like to run. It's a simple sentence, but one that has taken me years to actually mean. I do like to run. Short distances are my favorite, as in one to two miles a day; however, I have trained and completed 5, 10, and 15 Ks, along with a few half marathons. Sometimes I run with music or I listen to a podcast, but lately, I just run staying tuned into the sights and sounds around me. Yesterday, here is what tickled my ears:
1) Wildlife-I have no earthly idea about bird calls and various other nature noises, but something was singing or talking out there. I do live in a neighborhood with 'Woods' in the title, so it is expected.
2) Waste Trucks-Yesterday was recycle day, so the rev and roar of the mighty trucks echoed through the streets.
3) Lawn Mowers-Lots of them. My neighbors like neat and tidy.
4) Dogs-Watching my neighbors walk their dogs can be quite a sight, especially when two or more cross one another's path. My favorite is the couple who escorts the largest great dane I have ever seen. He is just shy of walking them.
5) The sound of my own feet hitting the pavement. I walk like an elephant; I run like a herd of elephants.
6) The voice in my head-OK, this requires a little explanation. I attempt to pray when I run. Wrong word. I do pray when I run. God allows me to do this, even though I go down multiple rabbit trails and have the attention span of a gnat at times. I usually begin by praising him for beautiful weather (I do live in Florida) or begging him to lighten the wet blanket of humidity (I do live in Florida), before getting to the nitty gritty. Confession-I do confess eventually, but not before soul searching to find out if I really mean it. Sometimes, I do. Otherwise, not so much. I tell God this. I figure He already knows. Thanking-I have an abundance of obvious that I am thankful for, but I do try to hit the not so obvious during this time. Aches, pains, responsibilities, difficult people...This is where if I listen hard, I think God might be laughing at my efforts. I feel like He appreciates me trying to be thankful, but understands I am a work in progress. Finally, I start lifting up specific requests. The people in my life. The people who have stories. The people who are hurting. The people who don't know they are hurting.
Usually, I cross the finish line (my mailbox) feeling refreshed with a lightened load, but I'll be honest...sometimes, I don't. Sometimes God points out that I've been running from Him or from a situation that needs to be handled. There is this story in the Bible about the prodigal son where one particular verse comforts me tremendously.
Luke 15:20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.
I have a Father who feels compassion. I have a Father who will run to me, even when I've been running away from Him. Thank you, Jesus.
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.