I went for my final pre-Russia run this morning – and it was like nothing I had ever experienced. I think, for the first time in my balding and slightly chunky adulthood, I actually experienced the famed “runner’s high.” I truly felt like I could run forever (or at least longer than my usual 3.3 miles). I was faster than usual, I felt better than usual and I actually enjoyed every step of the journey. Gone were the memories of my usual plodding pace where I count down the time until I collapse at home.
No, this time was different and it was fun. It was a glorious moment, albeit much shorter than I wanted as I needed to get back to finish packing…and write the blog post that was brewing in my head.
Now, there’s good reason why this particular run may have been better than the hundreds that have preceded it. Yes, I am totally jacked for our departure to Russia in just a few hours. Yes, I had just Skyped with my wife who has already safely arrived in Russia ahead of our group. And yes, the adrenaline is flowing as I have lots to do before leaving for the airport in just about 90 minutes. But the single reason that kept going through my head was the weather.
Today, my run was in a steady, cool drizzle. Not the kind of rain that drenches you from head to toe, making your shoes and socks into a modern-day Noah’s Ark. No, it was the energy-producing kind of rain that constantly cools and refreshes you every step of the way. It’s my absolutely favorite kind of weather to run in…and today was a reminder of why.
The one thing that was going through my mind every step of my jaunt was, “Rain down on me, Lord.” For that’s what it felt like. Every step, I was showered (literally and figuratively) with reminders of God’s blessings that I found energy-producing, cool and refreshing. I was suddenly thrust into a posture of thanksgiving as I was conscious of all God has done in my life. Not just the blessings related to Russia, but every aspect of every thing about my existence.
Each rain drop reminded me of another blessing from Him. The last minute worries of the trip and any concerns I had just floated away, replaced by a peace and calmness that surpasses all comprehension…and one that I find difficult to express in this post. I had a huge smile on my face the entire time as I experienced the physical and spiritual presence of the One who has given me so much.
And then it struck me. This is what our entire week in Russia is like. A constant showering of God’s love…just like the drizzle I was experiencing on my run. Always there, always present – the kind of “rain” that is purposely designed to cool us off and refresh us so that we can enjoy every step of the journey. Yes, there are times on our trip when the proverbial rain comes down harder and you really notice it…but there are many, many times when it is just a small, steady drizzle that has you thinking, “I could run like this forever.”
We are about to experience the runner’s high for an entire week – and we can’t wait. It will feel just like my run today and probably be equally as difficult to describe in words.
Rain down on us, Lord.
We are ready to get wet.