2018: LAST RUN. BEST RUN.

I decided to go for a run today as I typically do on the last day of the year. Since we are visiting my cousin in Tennessee, I was in unfamiliar territory. Thanks to my cousin’s recommendation, I headed out on the Greenbelt, a scenic trail that stretches across Kingsport. And man, did God plant some beautiful truths along the path.

At first glance I noticed all the dead trees, and I instantly thought to myself how beautiful it must be in the fall. I felt like I had missed out on the beauty of the season before where everything was illuminated with vibrant oranges, rich reds and golden yellows.

Truth: Embrace the season you’re in.

Why are we always wishing for something else? We either we wish we were still in the season before or we are so focused on getting into the season ahead that we can’t just embrace where we are and enjoy the surroundings at THIS place and at THIS moment. Winter is a season for reflection, and it’s the season I’m in for a reason.

As I continued on the path, I heard the sound of running water.

Truth: Just because things are dead, doesn’t mean there isn’t still life.

We just have to look for it. And no matter how dead things may seem, there is ALWAYS Living Water.

As I went on a bit further I saw a sign that said “Greenbelt Closed” at the beginning of a bridge that was blocked by a fallen tree. I didn’t think I could go any further. I thought it was time to turn around and go back home even though I wanted to keep running. But then I realized there was another path.

Truth: Just because the journey doesn’t go the way we plan, doesn’t mean we are stuck or have to give up.

There is always another way. In fact, it the THE Way that we should follow, not our own path.

Because of the recent heavy rains, there were several patches of thick, slippery mud along the path. Every time it felt like I hit my stride and was running at a great pace, I had to walk so that I wouldn’t slip.

Truth: Trust your senses and slow down when things gets messy.

Life isn’t meant to be experienced at the same pace for the entire journey.

As I came through a long stretch of mud, I saw a lady walking toward me. She was so precious with her white hair and mint green sweatsuit. She smiled and said, “It gets pretty slippery sometimes. A friend of mine recently fell out here and broke her leg.” There was no way I was going to let this lady walk through that mud alone. So I asked if I could walk through it with her. She looked relieved and took my arm as we walked toward the slippery mess. She said, “You know, I try to look for other people’s footprints on the path and follow their footsteps to find the best way to get through it.”

Truth: We are never alone on our journey.

God gives us people to do life with. People to experience the joyful moments with and people to hold on to when we’re walking through the rough patches. And everyone that goes before us leaves their mark. Take the footprints of others as a sign to help guide us through. Life is not meant to be lived alone.

After I made the turn, I noticed the scenery around me. To my right was a massive slope up that made me feel like I was in the valley. And to my left was a massive slope down that dropped much farther down that the one on the right. Both sides were dangerous, but I was on steady ground on the pavement in between the two.

Truth: God’s timing is never wrong.

Sometimes we look around and feel so far behind. All we see are those who appear to be further ahead, higher up or better than us. And we start telling ourselves that we aren’t enough. But if we fully embrace our surroundings, we’d realize we are right where God intends us to be. So much so that He laid a path out for us to follow. It may be full of hills and patches of slippery mud, but it is still steady ground.

Toward the end of my run, I faced some pretty massive hills. Unsure if I could make it, I pushed myself to power through. And I’m so glad I did, because the view from the top was so worth it.

Truth: You can’t truly appreciate the view at the summit until you’ve experienced the struggle I of making your way up from the valley.

When I started out, I only intended on running three or four miles. Instead, I ended up running SIX—the most I’ve ran since the half marathon in late March. I am so thankful for those six miles and all the beautiful truths God revealed to me along the way.

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