Monday, November 1, 2010

God Bless the Broken Road

I know you're all waiting to hear how the Denny's fundraiser went, but I'm still waiting on a couple of totals to come in. In the meantime, please excuse the delayed drumroll and backtrack a couple of weeks with me . . .

I dreamed about the years I spent
On diet flukes
Hoping for the day my pants
Would fit like Daisy Duke's.
But now I've lost that fifty-some
I think my skinny brain's gone numb
Cause I've signed up somehow to run
Clear to Timbuktu!

I think about a little girl
Every hill I climb,
I think about what she's been through
When I improve my time,
For we all run this marathon
So she's not alone on the path she's on,
She's the hero of this song!
The one who's fighting through.

Cause every hard fought mile
Leads me to where you are,
Heroes who've gone before,
They are like morning stars,
Leading me on my way
Past aching legs and arms,
This much I pray is true,
God bless the broken road,
That finds a cure for you.
(borrowed from “God Bless the Broken Road”, Rascal Flatts)

About two weeks ago now, I had the incredible experience of my first cross-country seven mile run. I had been keeping up well with the mileage, but I needed to know that all that running around and around the track, was actually helping build the endurance I would need for the open road.

The Thursday afternoon I was scheduled to run seven miles, it was so beautiful outside, that it wasn't hard to get adventurous, strap on my gatorade laden backpack, and set-off on a pre-mapped seven mile course. Over the course of the next hour and a half, I ran into obstacles of all kinds—steep hills, sidewalk cracks, catwalks with four flights of steps, and stretches of road that seemed to never end.

Finally in the last two miles of my adventure, I came around a corner that changed my direction almost directly west. The sun was about an hour from setting, and in the distance the mountains were bathed in amber light. The beauty charged me—propelled me forward. I felt like I was running on a street of gold, like I was getting a sneak peak into a glorious part of my eternal future.

About a mile later, I was home, and getting home had rarely felt so good, because of all the work I'd finished getting there, and because of the people waiting to welcome me. In that way, running and coming home are briefly prophetic, short sooth-sayers of what waits for us at the end of our last mile. When I cross the yellow tape near the River Jordan, I will be ready to give up my sneakers for a barefoot wade through the cool waters. On the other side, I will meet the author and finisher of my faith, Jesus Christ—otherwise known as the Great Physician. Jesus, keep Caden in your capable hands. Teach us your goodness through sickness and healing. God bless the broken road.

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