Today’s Advice to My Amazing Daughters: Sometimes you have to take church on the road

Today, God ran a 10K with me…

This morning was the original date for the Wonder Woman 10K that I was registered for in Atlanta. In March, the entire race series was cancelled and those who had registered received their packets (including the medal we would have earned) in the mail. My rules for earning a medal for a virtual race are that I have to plan the date and I have to run it like I would on raceday. I have had my swag for a month, but didn’t take it out of the bag till this morning, my raceday. (It felt right to run it on the day it would have been.)

So after online church this morning, I donned the gear, including my race bib because why not?

Me, looking all Wonder Woman-y.

Right away, I knew it would be a good run, but I didn’t know it would be a spiritually good run.

At the halfway point, It was really raining pretty good and I switched from the book I was listening too (kinda depressing) and put on praise and worship music. I began to pray for the sick and the caregivers, those who are hungry and vulnerable and lonely and scared. I praised God for my health and my strong body, that I am fed and sheltered and fortunate enough to stay safely at home while I continue to earn my regular income. The combination of the music and the rain washed so much negativity out. It was so cleansing as I felt stress and uncertainty washing away. (Sometimes – perspective is good. In this moment, I realized that my worries are pretty superficial compared to the real trauma that others are experiencing.)

As my route on the bike path passed through Clay High School property, I heard Saint Ignatious church bells ring just as my the song I was listening to said “I Surrender All”. And in that moment, I did surrender. I surrendered expectations and frustrations. I gave up fear and uncertainty and felt in my bones that God was telling me that what we have is NOW. The church bells reminded me that even when the world around us is full of unknowns, God shows up all the time, and even when we aren’t together, His Church is alive. The timing of the church bells just as I passed by the one area of that 6 miles where I could have heard them was pretty amazing. I could also go on about how perfect that playlist turned out to be, but that moment is the one I want to remember.

As I rounded the corner onto my street, my little cheering squad was there. Mark and my mom came out to be my finish line. My real life super hero put the medal around my neck and it was perfect.

Sometimes church is in a building. Sometimes it is online. And sometimes church happens on the road, in the rain in the heart of a runner.

At the turning point, when I decided turn my run into church, I also decided to run my heart out. I ran my fastest ever 10K. It won’t be logged as an offficial PR, but it sure will be tough to beat in just about every way.

I was reminded in “church” this morning that I am very fortunate. I can run in the rain on uncrowded streets without fear. I return to a warm house with ample nourishment and family members who are in good health. I don’t like everything that I see in the world right now, but I am comforted that God uses his people to restore things for good. We need to look for ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus. A revelation on a run means nothing if I don’t find a way to do something for others, to be God’s solution, rather than contributing to brokenness.

Today I encourage you to hit the road and find your church – the place where things are put into perspective and worries are washed away. Go for a run in the rain. God just might join you.

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