Petrichor hit me heavily that day.
The proverbial spring weather in Ohio is quite temperamental, and at times, causes my heart to ebb and flow in acquiescence with it.
On that particular day, it began to rain, but the storm brewing in my heart was of far greater cumulocity, so I decided to take a run.
Running is something I’ve always had a strong distaste for, but not a soul was outdoors this day, so I how could I pass up the opportunity?
And so I ran.
In a haze of gray and grief-
my thoughts racing my feet- I ran.
I ran and ran, with pain as my prod,
frustration dripping from my pores.
Each breath, each step,
each pounding heartbeat, each pounding thought
beat rhythmically into the saturated soil.
And then a pasture.
A great pasture stretching far across the horizon, opening widely to the the heavens from which the rain came crashing down.
Feeling so small, knowing my God was so big, without a soul around to hear, I raised a trembling fist and voice to the sky.
Cries of blessings and cursings, of pain and of love.
I WILL NOT CURSE YOU
I WILL NOT CURSE YOU MY GOD,
I WILL BLESS YOU”
My voice mixing with the whistle of the wind,
my tears meandering down to the ground with the tears of the clouds,
the doors of my soul opening like the floodgates of heaven.
And to my bleeding heart He spoke,
“I have torn that I may heal; I have struck down that I may bind up.”
Like open-heart surgery in a sense.
And there I stood, or knelt rather,
heart laid bare before my God,
drenched in sweat, rain, and humility.
Despite the pity I must be getting at how pathetic I must sound, I think this is a run we all need to take at some point in our lives.
It feels so good.
To be cold and wet and humble.
To run so far and hard that you puke.
To rant and scream like a child.
To wrestle with God.
It’s a good thing, despite how awful it sounds.
It’s like when you’re a kid and you get spanked or put in time out. You scream and cry and thrash about, and then when it’s over you go to your bed, cry some more, and eventually calm down. Your tears stop and you fall into a deep sleep. And when you wake up you apologize to your dad and he kisses you and tells you he loves you. And you give him a hug and remember you love him too. And then you go on to have your Dunkaroos and Kool-Aid Jammer and you are content once again.
Every once in a while, we are just broken, and it’s hard to admit to ourselves that that’s okay.
And sometimes you just gotta take a minute to be broken before the Lord.
I think it’s necessary for everyone to get away sometimes.
To just fall off the face of the earth, to escape the world in some way, and get alone with God.
It’s okay to admit to yourself that you don’t have it all together. I’d much rather be around those type of people anyway.
It’s okay to take a sabbatical every once in a while to do a little self-examination and just get before God with the “guileless candor of childhood”.
We keep our hands so full, our schedules so packed.
We get so caught up in what people think and how we should act that we forget to actually live. We forget to feel things. We forget the cross.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I think that sometimes we just completely suck as people, and that’s okay too.
Sometimes we need to just get away to remember why we are alive.
In the words of Franny in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey,
“‘It’s everybody, I mean. Everything everybody does is so- I don’t know- not wrong, or even mean, or even stupid necessarily. But just so tiny and meaningless and sad-making. And the worst part is, if you go bohemian or something crazy like that, you’re conforming just as much as everybody else, only in a different way.’
‘I’m sick of it. I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody. I’m sick of myself and everybody else that wants to make some kind of a splash.'”
It’s okay to be no one.
It’s okay to experience pain.
It’s okay to be cold, wet, and humble.
It’s okay to be broken, for our God loves to heal.
It’s okay to be silent.
It’s in the silence of the heart that God speaks, take time to listen.
Take your sabbatical.
“Take the phone off the hook and disappear for awhile”.
Go for a run that reminds you of how small you are and how great God is.
Take a minute to just stop and remember the God of creation, the God who heals.
He is a glorious God and is doing glorious things.
Take a minute to remember that.
I urge you, “open your soul and entertain the glory of God”.
“It is exactly that ‘moment by moment,’ every waking moment, surrender, responsiveness, obedience, sensitiveness, pliability, ‘lost in His love,’ that I now have the mind-bent to explore with all my might. It means two burning passions: First, to be like Jesus. Second, to respond to God as a violin responds to the bow of the master. Open your soul and entertain the glory of God and after a while that glory will be reflected in the world about you and in the very clouds above your head.”