This evening I didn’t want to run. My right ankle hurt, I felt a strain in my left adductor, I was dehydrated and depressed. When I walked in the back door after work, my house seemed airless and exhausted, like all the hope had been sucked out by a giant vacuum cleaner of despair.
It was supposed to be a good day. That morning, I watched the inspirational short video A Good Day by Brother David Steindl-Rast, in which he encourages us to be grateful for this day, because this day is a gift. He urges us to bless each person with our smile, with our presence.
Somehow, as the day dragged on, I lost the confidence to believe that I could be a blessing to every person I met. I wanted to be grateful. But the day’s events turned into an assault against my heart and dignity. Try as I might, I couldn’t will this day to be a good day.
So I came home, feeling spent and out of touch. I did a couple of things around the house, then convinced myself I needed to go for a run. Slowly, I gathered my gear: my iPod loaded with all the good running songs James gave me, my new ear buds, my special jacket and headband. [pullquote]But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings of eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31[/pullquote]
As I stepped outside into the frosty night, I looked up to see the warrior Orion lunging across the the deep navy sky, bow in hand. My peripheral vision caught an enormous orange glow, and turning, I saw that it was the moon, lumbering up over the horizon. If I had stayed indoors I wouldn’t have seen Orion or the moon–what a blessing I would have missed!
And I wouldn’t have felt the moist cold air on my face and hands, or the feeling of my own feet faithfully falling, one after the other, one block, then two, to the top of my street, then swooping down the hill, a little faster, a little stronger than before. I kept expecting my body to fail me, but my legs kept running. As I reached the back stretch to run for home, I saw that the moon was now resting in the tree tops and had turned a soft buttery yellow.
As I neared my house, I realized I was holding my breath. I exhaled the anxiety and fear, breathed in life and hope, and thanked God for one more day.
This was originally published just about a year ago. I reread it tonight and thought it was worth sharing again. I hope you watch the video , it is really a gem.