As I ran this evening, I realized that there was something familiar in the air. We hit mile 7 and I felt perseverance in my stride. We were running a familiar trail. I’d been there numerous times before and the memories had never recurred. But there they were, sitting in my mind begging to be recounted.
A long time ago, I’d shared the trail with someone once important to me and I thought the inverse was true. When I was sharply told otherwise, I told the trail exactly what I thought about that. With my running shoes on, I beat the asphalt trail to pieces that afternoon. With the sun beaming through the trees, I told the trail that it was not okay to stop running mid-race and it was not okay to ask someone else to run for me. It was not okay to give up.
As I nearly finished, the sun was gleaming off of the lake into my eye and an old favorite song played on my headphones. I smiled.
”This is who you are. You are loved.”
The words were clearly spoken to me. Not verbally. Truthfully. Vividly. Not detectable. But alive.
This moment came back to me and suddenly, I realized how beautiful life is. How beautiful it is to be in God’s creation. Running. Breathing. How beautiful it is to rise up out of pain and stride through the sore joints and aching pains. How beautiful it is to love. Everyone. Not selectively. Not romantically. Love. Plainly. Simply.
In that moment, I grieved for the men and women who have not experienced the goodness of Grace by the unorthodox means I have of late. I grieved for those who purport love and mercy as their platform but dole it out only to the most qualified. I grieved for those who accept such purported love and mercy unknowingly, mistakenly.
In my life, I grieve because I know the peace of the Lord and I know the absence of that peace. On my run, I was reminded of a time I felt the absence and the moment that I recognized its ever-presence. The perseverance of the peace in my life gets me through the tough days. The perseverance of the peace shows me the true nature of love and how essential it is that I am a vessel of it.
Perhaps the statement should be “I am a lover, not a quitter.”