Praying with My Feet

When I run, it can often be a release, an escape. When the world starts to surround me on all sides, all I want to do is throw on my shoes and hit the road. I find that I have been running a lot harder recently. It has taken on an added urgency, almost a purpose. I can’t decide if I am running away from something or running towards it.

Running has always been a time when prayer came more naturally for me. I think that is due to the natural vulnerability inherent in running. Sometimes those prayers have been conversations that ramble like hills. Many times, the words stay the same and they repeat with every stride.

There’s a passage in John, I believe, about the Spirit praying for us when we don’t really have the words to say what needs to be said. I feel like those are the prayers that have been happening more often of late. It’s like a hum that weaves in and out of the music coming through my headphones. It rises and falls with my breath. Its meaning is something that I cannot quite understand. It is like this indecipherable grasping for God. I don’t have words for it, but I can feel it.

That sounds like nonsense and maybe it is. But perhaps God fights fire with fire. When life gets nonsensical, our Creator uses what appears to be a bit of nonsense to get through to us. Maybe God uses scrap pieces of running shoes, iPod playlists, shortness of breath, and road to say something that I could not even at my most eloquent. I’m not sure.

All I know is that I have needed peace this fall. Faith, for a variety of reasons, has been a tough road to trod. Yet in those times when I have to go run for fear that I may implode, when I am either running so hard away from something or perhaps towards something, God has met me out there in a way that I can’t quite describe.

I have not and do not deserve that. But all the same, I am grateful.

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