Like so many others, I love to run. There are not many other things I would rather do. Some of my best pastimes have been while I’m treading dirt up from under my kicks. Along the Atlantic Ocean, on trails here in rugged Colorado, through the Kowloon district in Hong Kong, around villages in southern Mexico. My favorite running spot still stands as the dusty back roads near my grandparent’s house off the Indian River Bay. There, I end my runs on their long pier…and then just sit…and think…and talk to the Father.
Like Elle Woods says, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” This is probably the scientific reason that I love that adrenaline rush from pushing my muscles to their maximum capacity. Oh, and you can’t forget the elements . . . dirt (as I already mentioned), puddles, aromas of wild flowers and weeds in the warmer months, little (or big) four-legged creatures, birds, insects, and the list goes on. I like nature. I never cease to be fascinated with places I’ve seen a million and one times over. Combine God’s glorious creation and that adrenaline rush with a massive storm and you have yourself a true adventure in the making.
A couple days ago, I was out for a six-mile run on the Air Force portion of the Santa Fe Trail. The 60-degree weather was perfection, although I was still sweating quite a bit. There were dark clouds all over the mountains. I was running straight toward the mountains. A quick three miles in and another three out, I was sure I could make it.
The thunderous clouds and I were approaching each other. I gave a little, they gave a lot. Behind me was the epitome of sunshine. It felt incredibly daring of me to leave the safe place. I kept going, for I knew I would be okay. I don’t mind a little rain and being struck by lightning would be a cool way to die. KIDDING.
Ok, it was getting scary. I know, I know…it was only a storm. But you should’ve seen this thing! And the contrast between the bright, practically cloudless skies in the East was horrifying. It was straight out of The Shining. I’ve never seen The Shining. Is it even scary? Think of another scary movie…like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…
I finally reached my halfway point under a bridge and turned around as fast as I do flip turns in the water…only I didn’t flip. Oh, wait…I can’t do a flip turn… But be assured that it was a quick turnaround. From there, I ran the fastest I’ve run in years (probably since my senior year of high school). It was so great. The entire way back, I knew the horror was behind me and still approaching, but I was running toward that glorious light and that made all the difference.
I am about to go into some of the darkest places in the eastern world. I am headed to destinations where there are millions of gods made of gold, dirt, and even plastic. There will be people filled with the most horrific motive of selling other people’s bodies for cash. There will be children with amputated limbs on street corners. I’ve only heard the stories of these countries. I am about to see. I will be venturing into the dark, and the light will be there as well…right with me. Yes, I will see evil, but as 1 John 5:18 reads, “…he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” Though I sometimes get frightened of the prospect of this trip, I can’t wait. I was born to do this – go into dark places and proclaim the Light. I was born to do this on my runs in the foothills of the rockies, back in the drug-infested bathrooms in high school, at the restaurant where I work…and in the third world.
So, that’s the story. Epic? Yeah…for me. Guess you had to be there alongside me!
Alrighty, I am off for a little run downtown in the rain. Gotta get back into that high school shape!