July 7, 2012

Running Shoes - To The End of the World

The most enthusiastic parts of traveling are the anticipatory two weeks before and the story telling afterwards. 
But during the trip?
 Sometimes you forget that you're supposed to be enjoying every single breath...sometimes you just keep living your life so normally that you forget that you're supposed to be especially enjoying life's little moments on the road
Some of my readers may know what I mean by this...some of them may think that I've finally lost it and my ramblings really don't make sense anymore.
 It all depends on what type of traveler you are and how you react
But if you're like me, you like to live in the travel moments. You live for the stories afterwards. You live for the anticipation before hand. And you live for those out of the ordinary moments in the midst of your travels when you say, "That's why I'm here right now."
Moments like the sun setting behind the mountains
I love the limitlessness of the ocean horizon, I am a coastal girl to the core...that's where I taste and see the the Lord is good clearer than any other place in the world...but I can appreciate the mountains. 
The splendor of God. 
If the oceans seem untamed to me, if they showcase the wildness of the Creator of the universe, then the mountains always seem to display the fearlessness of God. 
The majesty.
 The splendor
When I am by the sea, I feel the rawness, the strength, the calmness, and the rolling tide of God's glory. When I stand beneath the shadow of a mountain, or stand on the top of its peak, I feel the insignificance of my life and I am amazed that the God who created such a world would love me so completely. That's why I love travel. I get to see God outside of my normal vision. 
I get to see Him clearer
Then there are moments when you travel and chipmunks are crawling over your empty hands, expecting food but being sorely disappointed. Little bitty creatures coated in cuteness. I want a chipmunk. Or a whistle pig. Those kind of moments make me happy too. 
Moments when you can't breathe because you're laughing so hard with your family. In my family, this happens frequently. 
We laugh a lot. 
We make jokes a lot (some of them we probably shouldn't...). 
We love a lot
We drive each other crazy, and even today my prayer was for a more patient heart, but when it all comes down to it, we forgive quickly too. 
Of course, I have my own moments when traveling that I share with God alone (and sometimes this blog) and those usually involve time spent on the road, with only rubber soles separating me from the earth. A hazy sun in the sky and sweat on my face. Muscles that feel the pull and stretch and pounding of movement. Lungs that are gasping for lower altitude air and struggling to be strengthened with less oxygen. The struggle of the run
 I leave the hotel door: run, pray, struggle, fight, pray, run: and then return to the hotel front door with the reminder that I am a runner.
 I am a fighter. 
I fight for each run. It doesn't come naturally. My body fights to move into a rhythm. My lungs fight for air. My soul fights for freedom. My best runs are runs that I fight for with my whole heart. My best runs are runs that leave me hungry for another run. When I run in someplace that I don't know, when I see God in someplace that I haven't seen him before....my heart soars. 
I am a hungry Christ follower. I long to dive deeper. To know God's heart, to do God's will. To love justice, walk humbly, and to do mercy. I am a "never quite content Christian". Never quite content with who I am, never quite okay if I find myself stagnate, never enough on my own but learning every day that Jesus is more than enough for me.
 That hunger in my heart is not misplaced.
 I was created with a hunger that pushes me beyond the lusts and desires of the world and forces me to grapple with the reality that this world is not enough
I was given a hunger for eternity, it was placed in my heart, and I will keep searching every coastal sunset and every view from the mountain top to catch the smallest glimpses of the eternity that awaits. 
Heaven is calling, but meanwhile, I travel...with purpose. 
With the purpose of Christ. 
With the calling of a Christ follower.
 My life is not my own. 
I've been feeling a renewed purpose this week. Old goals refreshed. Marathon dreams re-kindled. Other dreams forced to die. New priorities. New realities. A mix of good and bad. Bittersweet. But right
No doubts about it...right decisions are being made. Without regrets. I feel as though I am back on the right track. My heart is at peace. My shoes are laced tighter. And I am fighting for a race worth running. 
A calling bigger than me. 
I have been given an escape this week, which at times, feels very much just like normal living with a different view. But this escape to Colorado has also given me a chance to rekindle the fire in my soul. These moments of travel, moments of seeing God with new eyes, have refreshed my spirit. 
To the ends of the world, I will travel...
to my backdoor, I will go...
down the street...
across the globe...
running...
walking...
flying...
whatever it takes...
 to the ends of the world...
Here I am Lord, send me.