This morning I was running through the woods and felt I was supposed to stop. I hesitated at first because I do not generally stop on my runs. After a few more moments of being prodded to slow down, I stopped. As I stopped, I felt the presence of the Lord come over me in a strong way. It was very early in the morning and the sun had not yet peeked from behind the mountains to my right. There was a light mist and since I was at the highest part of my run, I was close to the clouds. I looked up and noticed how glorious the woods looked around me. There was a fog that covered most everything in the forest but not so much that I couldn’t see the trees; I noticed the verdant greens and deep tones of red and yellow on the trees and plants around. I had been so busy focusing on getting through my run, checking it off my list of things to do, that I hadn’t stopped to notice what a beautiful morning it was.
I walked ten more feet or so from where I was and in the middle of the path was a bright red lizard or salamander (I am not sure how to tell the difference). It was bathing in a bit of the moisture on the ground and let me pick it up. After I put the little guy back down, I began to really look around and notice the small lavender butterflies around, the squirrels, birds and other creatures moving around in the morning haze.
The point of me going to the woods that morning was to run. My goal was to start at the car, run a loop up and around the mountain and return to my car about 40 minutes later. The purpose of getting up early was to exercise; I wanted to get up, go to the woods, run, and get on with my day. After I got there, something else happened, something far better. I got to spend time with my Father.
I think while this morning in and of itself was beautiful and a great enough happening to stand alone; however, I think God was trying to show me something bigger.
My goal in life is to love God. I want to love God and follow the path He has set out for me until I reach Heaven, and then I will continue to love Him. While the goal in life is to serve God and stay on the path He has set out for us, I don’t believe we have to be so narrow-minded that we forget to stop along the path He has for us. While we are only in this world and not of it, I believe God arranges places along our path in the woods where we should slow down and look around us. The world is full of corruption, greed, perversion and all other sorts of sin; however, it is also full oh His creation.
I think this morning was God’s way of reminding me that while I should remained focused on Him, sometimes He has called me to slow down and do what He has called me to in that moment.
I am reminded of the words in 1 Samuel 15:22: “To obey is better than to sacrifice.” While it is our ultimate goal to love Him and seek Him until we are united in heaven, there may be times when we are asked to obey Him in that moment and do something for Him along the way. We shouldn’t “run the race” so blindly that we miss the small lavender butterflies or the little red lizards of life.