Thursday, December 10, 2015

Running in the Dark

I run.
Not very fast, but I'm consistent.

I try to do at least 3 miles, 3 times a week.  Those 3 miles consume about 45 minutes from the time I go out the door until the time I get back inside. The best time for me to fit those 45 minutes into my day is in the morning.  And since I need to leave home at 7:30 to be at work by 8, this time of year those 45 minutes are when it's still dark outside. 

This morning, in addition to the dark, there was incredibly thick fog. Not patches of fog, but a huge wet blanket that stretched for miles and miles.

I'm accustomed to running in the dark.  I have a headlamp for seeing ahead and a flashing red light for being seen from behind.  I wear a reflective vest that seems to light up when hit by headlights. But this morning's fog was a challenge.  The pool of light in front of me was only about 5 feet out. If I lifted my head to aim the light straight ahead, all I got was lots of white reflection off the fog and none of the road at all.

About 3/4 of a mile from my house is a street light.  Now, technically, it's not a "street" light.  We call them booger lights.  Booger lights are what rural folks have to light up their property since there are no street lights to light up county roads. I could see this light up ahead in the distance, but it didn't really light up anything other than the fog. After I passed that light, I was truly running in the dark.

I know that shortly after the 1.5 mile point of my usual run there is a white fence marking a pasture to my left. When I spotted that fence, I knew exactly where I was. Until then, I had been unsure for about half a mile.  I ran with that fence in my peripheral vision until I came to the end of it.  I thought about running a bit farther, but the idea of running in total darkness made me feel dizzy, so I turned around at the end of the fence. 

That fence is a boundary in my life.  Its main purpose is to keep the cows that live in the pasture from getting out.  Perhaps it may be to keep four-wheelers from getting in.  But for me, that fence tells me where I am. I had been unsure of my place until I saw the boundary. 

On weekends I run in the daylight. I've noticed that my pace is usually quicker when there's light, but I'm not as relaxed as when I run in the dark.  I think maybe it's because in the daylight, I can see how far I still have to go. When I'm running in the dark, I can just see the next few steps. Those are the only steps I have to worry about.  When I can see a mile or so down the road, I can see how steep the hill is that I have to climb.

There are people that want God to show them the whole big picture of what lies ahead of them. They want to see far down the road.  I'm thinking that God sometimes just reveals the next few steps because if we could see the whole journey, we might never take the first step. And the boundaries He sets for us might not be to keep us in or out, but just to let us know where we are.

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