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This is the “Goldilocks” season in New York for runners: it’s not too hot, not too cold, but just right. I mean, really really really right.
I have to confess, I go through stages when I wonder why I run at all … when I hate even the idea of exercise … when it seems like all pain and no gain. Just a chore at best … and self-induced torture at worst. And then … well, we get some weather like this week’s weather.
It’s the kind of weather that makes your heart leap for joy, your legs feel energized, your breathing feel good… With low humidity, modest temperatures, sunny skies, everything seems to be working together to create this amazing sense of wellbeing when you run. Even if you just go outside for a walk, you can feel it. It feels good!
So basically, my whole outlook on running and exercise is dramatically altered by the context in which I actually run or exercise. Which of course got me to thinking …
I wonder in what context does my heart run?
Do I go outside, facing each day in a fog of confusion? Do I start out the day with the biting cold of bitterness and “un-forgiveness” toward some people? Do I rush out of my home, suffocating in the humidity of non-stop worry and fear without even realizing it?
For me, stopping for prayer helps change the atmosphere for my heart and spirit. As I pray, I can begin to experience a shift in the weather patterns of my heart. I let the words sink in that I heard from a lady years ago:
Rest in the goodness of God, for that goodness reaches to the depths of our needs.
(That “lady” was the great English mystic, Julian of Norwich, who lived about 600 years ago.)
Beginning my day from a place of resting and trusting in God’s goodness — it’s like this fall weather. My heart leaps for joy, knowing there are good things in store. I have courage and energy to do the things God has invited me to do … and I can breathe deeply and operate from a place of love, not from a place of fear. It doesn’t change the circumstances, but it sure does change my perspective.
Another wise man once said, “The way you look at things is the most powerful force shaping your life.”
So .. praying helps me look at my life with love. Praying helps me “run this race” with joy and wonder. Praying helps me to live … as one who is loved and blessed.
And that feels good!