Monday, May 2, 2011

I am Free to Run

May 2nd already, yet I awoke to 31 degrees and gloom.  Everytime I pull on my winter running pants I think surely this will be the last time I wear them this year.  After seeing Edwin off to work I get a text from him: "It's snowing."  "Ugh" is my reply.  Now we are two for two days of snow flurries in May.  I decide I will run anyway and grab a baseball cap in case it turns to rain before I get back.  Though complaining about the weather again in my heart if not aloud, I head out the door.

Surprisingly, or better yet mercifully, I begin to feel better as soon as the fresh air hits my lungs, despite the snow I can see on my jacket.  It's windy but the snow is more like small styrofoam balls and I don't seem to be getting wet.  And 31 is not that cold if you are moving.

Then I begin to pray, something I usually do while I am running though it is not the ideal prayer time - there is the music, the traffic, and the breathing to worry about after all.  I thank God for the day, confess my sins (including the complaining), and begin to pray for the victims of the devastating tornadoes last week in Alabama, my home state.  I am so thankful my family and friends were spared, yet it saddens me greatly to realize how many homes, businesses, trees, and people are gone.

This is when it hits me (I am sure I would have had this realization much sooner if I were not here, so many miles away from the disaster.) - my house is still standing, warm and full of groceries.  My husband is at work, our power is on, we will have a full day of school, cook three meals, do the laundry.  The hardest thing I have to do today is probably this run, and I have chosen to do it because I enjoy it.  I will not spend today sifting through piles that used to be my home, hoping to find my children's clothes.  And I should be very, very thankful to be spared from yet another catastrophe.

Then I hear the music on my iPod - "I am free to run...I am free to dance...I am free to live for You...I am free..."  And I realize how true that is.  I am free to run today because God has been merciful to me once again.  It is true everyday, even, or perhaps especially, the day I will "wake up" in heaven.

So I continue to pray for all of those affected by the enormous tornadoes, once again realizing how God takes care of us every moment.  It is impossible to imagine the destruction and how many aspects of life have been affected there, but I do know this: God is sovereign.  He did not leave those who were hurt by these storms.  He is there, working out His perfect will in a way we may never understand.  Lord, have mercy on them.  May they feel Your love as never before.


Julie said...

Amen, Tracey! Well said!

M. Helseth said...

I ran this morning as well - it was SUPER cold. I go back and forth about running with music but like you, I run to primarily Christian music (save a little Aerosmith, Santana and Lenny Kravitz) and the lyrics always seem to make me thankful for all God has done for me. Including giving me healthy legs and lungs to run 8 miles in cold weather!

Christie Anderson said...

Amen, Tracey. Beautifully written and I ask your permission to re-post your blog entry on my fb wall with your name. In the recent past, when I would complain about the "stuff" I needed to get ready for a yard sale or empty the boxes since we discontined storage; that's when I remind myself that I'm blessed to have this "problem" because so many others don't. That's when I apologize to God for being such a whiner and blessing me for many years.

Tracey said...

Sure, Christie, post away! You can use this link:

Bryonie said...

Thanks - this was good for me. :-)

Mama Hen said...

This really is a great post! I am an Alabama girl and even though we had minimal damage, it is so hard to think of those that had horrific damage. And yesterday it rained. A lot.

By the way, I think your idea about making them clean out the closet they left the door open too is brilliant!!!!!

Gail said...

A great reminder.