Running through the Storm

It had been a long day.  Nah, it had been a long week.

They come for all of us, don’t they?  Those times that knock us down so hard we just have to lie there a while and wonder why we’re trying.  But, by the grace of God we learn how to adapt and find ways to keep our spirits up when that which surrounds us seems to only want to pull us down. Sometimes hope comes in small ways no one else cares about or notices at all.

Upon reflection, I find I am deeply grateful for the curiously lavish amount of these little kindles of light I’ve collected over the years, the insignificant glimmers that remind me of what really matters.  That there is light on the other side, that there is good now, if only in crumbs and tiny flames. I find these little blessings helpful to recall. They keep our hearts from becoming too consumed with ourselves and out of the trap of self-obsession or discouragement.

As I always say, I think there is some good common sense in forgetting about oneself as often as is you can, both the good and the bad.  The good is His doing anyway,  and the bad must be given to Him.  Not to say reflection and introspection isn’t important, but mulling over oneself for too long isn’t good for anyone’s health, in my opinion.  It tends to make us think we have something to do with our beauty, or are doomed to our own failures.  Thus we become either terribly vain or else overcome by despair.

If we must mull, let us mull over Him. If we’ve forgotten how, perhaps those little blessings from Him can remind us where to look.

Running is one of those things for me that pulls me out of myself and the crud my eyes see.  I’m not even really sure what it is about it, but it does what I need it to do, and for half an hour I can breathe and connect with life, become once again mindful of others’ needs and what matters at the end of the day.  At the end of life.

Due to a variety of other commitments and life that just happened (as life tends to do) I wasn’t able to run for a few days last week, which is longer than what I would have preferred.  To say I was itching for a run would be something of an understatement.   You might say I had broken out in hives for lack of a run.

Alright, that’s really dramatic, but you get the picture.

So finally on Wednesday I found I was going to have time after work.   Got through the day and stepped outside to find dark stormy skies, chilly air and horizontal rain.

You know, the sort that renders an umbrella useful only for an occasional chuckle or, perhaps, as a tool for finding your way through an otherwise blinding storm.

I put on my shoes anyway, stirred by some comically impenetrable fire within, and stared up at the sky for a while. I don’t know how long I stood there, but it was how long took for me to find the courage to step out into it.

It was brilliantly cold, my fingers were numb and I was soaked through and through.  It was beautiful and painful.  Halfway through my trek, the most amazing thing happened. A surge of sunshine broke through the crashing storm, bringing with it the most extraordinary rainbow I’ve ever seen.

As my tears mixed with the rain that fell, the colors seemed only to grow stronger with each passing moment, reminding me that so often that is life.  The storm doesn’t always stop, but the sun breaks through now and then, giving us rainbows of hope for something better.

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