Tomorrow I’m going to run a race. A trail race. But I’m not going to be racing. And I may not be doing a lot of running. I’m finding that grief saps one’s physical strength in a way that’s different from enduring the gauntlet of 26.2. At this race, I expect I’ll be doing a combination of walking, running, and healing, as I allow God’s creation to soothe my weary soul. I may need to tuck some tissues into my hydration vest.
Running has always been therapeutic for me, but even more lately, as I’ve tried to swap some of my road miles for the trail. As I get older and inevitably slower, I think I’ll do even more exercise on the trails. I’ve even contemplated thru-hiking, to which my YouTube history can certainly attest.
The trail slows my feet and my mind. It fills my senses and lifts my head to my Creator. The harmony of nature – the bird song, the smell of spring turning into summer, the pleasing views, testify of God’s goodness and grandeur.
And this is what I need right now. This is the balm to my soul. Not the trail. But the One to whom the trail and all of creation testifies. The only One who can satisfy the longing soul. (Psalm 107:9) The One who is near to the broken hearted. (Psalm 34:18)