Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Son Shines Bright

Morning running is necessary for a couple of reasons: (1) work and class schedules often preclude evening trail time, and (2) the Houston heat tends to be less punishing then also. One of the benefits is that sometimes it's timed with the sunrise. This can make for a rather lovely running track, with its multitude colors and long shadows. That's when running away from the rising sun; however, on the return trip, when facing the light, the experience is greatly different. Staring into the bright light low in the eastern sky hurts the eyes, and so you have to gaze down at the pavement just a few yards ahead of your pace. Sure the path is brightly illuminated, and there's no danger of tripping over unanticipated obstacles, but the long view is unavailable. The sun keeps you from peering too far down the way. You know it's there, feel it's warmth, but can't look at it straight on just now.

It occurred to me that the walk with Christ can be similar at times. There can be times when the presence of God in one's life is healthy and dynamic, but precludes looking far down the road. In fact, the Son of God shines too brightly in our hearts to allow looking far down the way. The lack of foresight isn't always evidence of lacking direction from God. On the contrary, it can instead be a symptom of intense training from the Holy Spirit (our "Faculty of One"), who is conducting a rigorous "CrossFit" for the soul. Staring straight out at God's purpose, hoping to peer down the trail for where this is going, doesn't work right now. So you keep your pace, feeling the warmth of the Light, knowing that those potential trip hazards are being exposed enough to avoid.

Analogies drawn from exercise abound in the Scriptures for training the spiritual life; and while exercise for the body is of some benefit, realizing its lessons for training the soul have benefits not only for this life, but the life that is to come also. Sometimes, sunrise running directs the soul to realize those ways that we are trained when the Son is rising in our hearts. We may not be able to peer far down the pathway, but we know that the trail is good and that our steps are being illuminated so that we may continue running well.