This morning I woke up and went for a run. There is nothing particularly unusual about this as it’s something I do a few times a week. It is getting a little colder and darker now as winter approaches, so I waited until close to sunrise before getting up. What was a little different this morning was that I was going on my own and decided it was safer to run in the light.
As I crossed the bridge over Firenze’s famous Fiume Arno, the rising sun was creating beautiful pink & orange reflections on the still water. Although I didn’t realise it at the time – only in a random photo I took – a bird soared over the water. The city was waking up.
As I turned and ran along the river into the Parco delle Cascine, I became aware of another runner behind me. My desire to stay in front of him spurred me on. I spotted yet another person, this time alongside me but on the narrow gravel track closer to the water. Determined to stay with him, I ensured I didn’t drop my pace. Keen to take a photo to share with Walter, I faltered as I tried to unlock my phone and within seconds, I was out of step, behind my target. Fighting my fatigue, I managed to pick up the pace enough to stay with him, albeit a little behind. Suddenly, the guy that had been behind me decided to pick up the pace and ran past. I didn’t try and stay with him, instead choosing to remain with my other target who was more in line with my pace. After a few hundred metres, the gravel track disappeared as did my co-runner and I was at least 50 metres behind my original motivator. I managed to maintain the distance behind him for the next 1-2km. I did get a little distracted by the bright sunlight starting to emerge through the trees, but this didn’t stop me from eventually catching him again and running past. There were no more runners ahead of me, and none close enough behind to propel me forward. The sun shining directly in my face was warming and beckoned me forward. It also blinded me as I approached the exit of the park and I had to avoid the poles and chains set up across the road to block the vehicles.
My run reminded me of my walk with God. He is the Light. I waited until it was light before getting out of bed to go running, knowing it would be safer. I waited for the Light to call me out, I waited for God to speak.
During the run, there was always someone or something to keep me moving forward, even when I was distracted and fell behind. Sometimes God is behind me, motivating and encouraging me, sometimes He comes alongside, helping me to keep going even when I’m tired and it gets tough. Sometimes He’s in front of me, stretching me and challenging me. Sometimes I don’t see Him at all, but I know he’s there, I’m aware of His warmth and Light. Other times, He shines so much in His glory, that I am almost blinded but I keep moving whilst watching my step.
In all circumstances, He is there. All I need to do is to wait for the Light, to take a step and to keep my eyes on Him when I’m getting tired. When I am distracted, He is still there, pulling me back on track. And even when I can’t see Him, I am able to bask in His warmth, knowing that He’s always there.
But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)