The Bumpy Road
I love exploring. I do a lot of it with Theron and my jogging stroller in tow. It’s how I learn new areas, new routes.
From one canal, I heard trains run close and I could catch the path in Wolvercote. Today, I decided to take it. Sprout is now fascinated with trains (thank you, London!). “Choo-choo”, he says in the sweetest, softest voice. (That has nothing to do with this post, but it’s just cute. So with views and ‘fair’ weather in check, we set out.
At first, the path was rather rickety, at least, that was the sound of the stroller as it navigated the rocks in the path. I wondered if I should change routes. Sprout seemed to be enjoying himself, so we carried on.
Along this particular part of the canal, houseboats lined the banks, and ducks/swans bobbed about searching for breakfast. Sprout pointed out everything he noticed, ‘quack-quacks’, ‘choo-choo’, bikes… Before we knew it, I was running at a decent clip as we anticipated our destination, the Gloucester Green Farmers Market.
About ½ way through our journey, I ran into some muddy patches. Not thinking too much about it, I slowed a bit to circumvent the deepest parts of the mud puddles, but increased pace as we maneuvered around them.
A bit further, we approached a portion of the trail that looked almost as though a jack-hammer had been taken to it. I had no choice but to slow to a light jog, at best, for much of this pass.
As we worked our way slowly through the dilapidated path, I took the liberty of working on my form. Only then, did I realize just how much I had neglected it. I guess I became too focused on speed, instead.
Turned out to be a great opportunity to refresh my step, breathe deeper, and focus on engaging different muscle groups and relaxing others – like the clench of my shoulders guiding the pram (stroller).
Then God got a hold of me.. isn’t this much like your life, sometimes, Catherine? You are moving at warp-speed, and little by little, you loose ‘form’. You didn’t start your run that way. It happened gradually. Sometimes, we need to slow down, and go back to ‘basics’, lest we ram our way through rough terrain and come out injured (or injuring someone else, yikes!).
Sometimes in my Christian walk, I get so laser-focused on a single thing (no matter how ‘good’ the activity is), letting other important things falter. I need to slow down to re-engage with my prayer time (ALL of it!), ensure my daily Bible reading is not replaced by other mindless activities, be sensitive to the needs of others, and listen for God. (To name a few).
…let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. (Hebrews 12:1b-2a)
The beauty of my morning run with Sprout, was after we took time to slow down and regain composure, the trail smoothed out and was incredibly enjoyable… We finished our run in a beautiful part of town, thanking God for allowing the bumpy road to slow us down, so that we could enjoy MORE of what he has in store; form in check.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. (1 Corinthians 9: 24-25)
Dear Lord, Thank you for all the things you do and use to teach me how to be closer to you. Thank you for allowing opportunities that would otherwise hinder me, to draw me closer to your heart. Amen.