I have often spoken about how spiritual a run can be for me. Today was no different. I start class tomorrow at Candler and if I am really honest, I am full of hope, expectation, joy and if I am a little more honest, I have some anxieties and fears as well. I have this image in my head of a roller coaster… I am buckled in and have already made it up the beginning ramp. I can even see the first drop, all that’s left to do is begin the ride.
I began my run and immediately started to pray for the next three years and the work God is going to do in and around me during this time. I have used the same path since we moved here many times (the map of my run from today is below). I think today God used my run as a metaphor for the next three years.
I don’t exactly know what to expect from seminary except that it will be a lot of work. Today I saw the three distinct “legs” of my run as the three years of seminary.
The first leg or portion of my run (starting from the green arrow in the picture going to the “1” icon) is my least favorite of the run. It is on a busy road, there is lots of traffic and there is little shade. Aside from that, it is also the beginning of my run which is difficult no matter where you are. To start a run there is the transition from being still to moving. Not only do you start moving, but you have to try and find a comfortable pace, not too fast or slow.
The second leg of my run is the prettiest (in the picture above, the second leg is in between the “1” and “2” icons). I take a cut-through road which turns into gravel, there is ample shade, there is a lake and in general this portion has the prettiest scenery of the three. In this portion of the run I am usually in a groove and can just relax, enjoy whats around me and enjoy being exactly in that moment.
The third leg is the longest of the three parts. This portion can make or brake a run. If I am tired, I might have to struggle through this portion of the run but if I am feeling good, there is almost no better feeling in running than sprinting the last bit to reach your destination. Regardless of whether I am tired or not, the third leg always gets me back home.
I think the next three years may be like the three legs of my run.
Father, give me the strength to run the race you have set before me. Help me in the first leg to find the pace so that I might endure, help me to see the beauty in what may seem unattractive or difficult at times and help me transition with your grace. In the second leg let me enjoy the beauty all around, let me continue with the pace you have given and let me enjoy being at this place you have called me to. Father, for the third leg give me the energy to finish the race with vigor, let me be thankful for all the blessings you have given and prepare me for the next new beginning.
I trust you are able to do exceedingly more than I can imagine. Thank you, God!