Inviting God Along on the Run

Photo by  Alfred Schrock  on  Unsplash

As summer fades quickly into autumn here in the upper Midwest, I’m reminded of the coming cold and the difficulty finding motivation to run during the long winter months to come. Sure, there is always my trusty treadmill to escape to, using podcasts, music, and tv to somehow makes those interminable miles go by. But then I remember the beauty that I am missing, just outside my door.

A few years ago, I started praying a seemingly silly prayer as I stepped out in the shimmering, shivering winter landscape for a run: “God, please help me through this run. Show me Your face and remind me of Your goodness out there today.” And every day, He did.

The presence of God was revealed to me in a particularly beautiful shower of snow, drifting lazily about my ankles. Or, some days it was found in a sunset, taking my breath away with orange and pink fire in the sky above me. These little gifts of nature seemed to be God’s way of saying, “Hello there, little one. I see you on your little way. I’m meeting you here in this outpouring of color and light and beauty,”

It was on these runs, the difficult, slow, and cold ones, that I learned better than ever to seek God’s face in all things. He is so present in nature, but even more so in numerous small ways all around us: a smile from an elderly woman at your mischievous toddler, a flower given to you by small, sticky hands, a particularly fast race or workout, birth, death, and the wind in the trees at night.

God is all around us, but we have to choose to look for Him and invite Him into our lives. So, perhaps that little prayer I said so long ago isn’t so silly after all. I was just inviting God along on my run, as I would a good friend. And our Lord never refuses an invitation from our hearts.