Wrapping presents after midnight. Sleeping a few hours. Waking with the birthday boy's excitement. Challenging conversations at the office. Enjoying a special lunch with family. More challenging conversations. Returning home balloon-laden. Partying superhero style with a dozen kids. Talking with friends into the evening. Bathing the kids after a day's play. Praying good-night with the sleepyheads. A full day.
A day like this one begged for some
. Sultry & still it was as I
out the door. Uncommon. Feverish feelings in my first running steps. Immediately sweaty & clammy. Like a sickness you don't want. Uncomfortable.
Yet within the passing miles arrived new thoughts. Familiar streets. Familiar turns. Familiar hills. Familiar footsteps. Familiar breathing. Familiar pace. These things are familiar. This is my 5k course. There are other runners in the neighborhood, but no one else would run this route. It's mine.
And in the familiar I find comfort. Safety. Security. Predictability.
Life is change. Life demands choices. Life leads to the unfamiliar.
In my run. On my course. Through the night. With new thoughts of the familiar. I pray something like this...
Father, I thank you that your character is unchanging from everlasting to everlasting, yet your mercies are new every morning. I celebrate that facing unfamiliar I can rely on you as familiar. I rejoice that you will never leave me or forsake me. I embrace that you hold for me a future & a hope. I rest from my burdens & labor under your gentle hand.
Running on. Praying further. The uncommon warmth of tonight somehow becomes comfortable too. As familiar as waking rested, warm & snuggled together with my wife on a cold winter's morning.