Beth's Blog 

Beth’s Blog                                           September , 2011

I always tell people I am a runner though truth to tell I haven’t done much running for quite a while (and I won’t define just how long “quite a while is.”)  I go to the gym almost daily, so I do get exercise, but I have been finding it hard to get myself into the great outdoors to hit the pavement.  For years I would take a dog or two with me, but that just meant that my pace was determined wholly by how good the sniffing was.  In fact , though I had been running more than 3 miles regularly I found myself struggling with a 5k race a few Thanksgivings ago.  I realized I had gotten accustomed to short breaks as “we” stopped for fire hydrants, trees and  scraps of litter.

I decided things could change.  While during the last year a lot of my exercise was walking from cars to hospital rooms, having Paul at home means that I’m not moving so much.  So Sunday morning I decided to go out the front door and “run” the trail.   Since I wasn’t preaching I didn’t have to sit quietly for one the last read through of my sermon.  There was no excuse keeping me inside.

As I started out, my legs frankly felt as if they each weighed a ton.  My breathing was okay, but I had thought that all that time on the elliptical machine at the gym would have better prepared me.  I kept thinking I might just shorten the distance but the better part of me made me go my original path, which I figure was a couple of miles.

Just as I had decided that I wouldn’t turn around and I couldn’t take a short cut I noticed a bicyclist stopped along the trail.  While his bike was not visible initially, I could tell he was a bicyclist because of his clothes.  (As my son Teddy wondered as he thought about getting back on a bike  “If I ride do I have to wear funny looking shorts and shirts?”) The cyclist motioned to me.  I stopped and looked.  There, across the wash, was a bobcat.

For some people living near the hills like we do, seeing a bobcat has become nearly routine. This was my first. I was stunned silent as he loped by, scrawny and obviously on the hunt for food.  Assured that he was no danger, I marveled at just how close all of us creatures of God creatures are, and how, for better or worse, we have adapted to living near each other.  And more than anything, I was so grateful that my reluctant decision to go running and a stranger’s need to share a moment, had given me a snapshot of nature I would have otherwise completely missed.

Which made me realize that glimpses of God and God’s creatures and God’s creation are all around us all  the time.  We just have to stop.  And look.  And be thankful.


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