I stepped outside this morning. The air felt cool yet soupy. A storm brews. The cool breeze smells wet. I turned right on the county road this time, past all the garbage out for pickup, leftover revels in a can. The sun rose on my left as birds dipped around me. Clouds crept in from the west, over the lake. It looked like God was tucking us into bed with a thick gray blanket.
I ran past Sunset Beach. I spotted a couple of dead raccoons. What I didn’t figure on was the gnats. They have been here all along, swarming up from the lake in the afternoon. They get so thick you can barely see. Last night after fireworks, it seemed like all the bugs in the universe wanted in the house, or at least as close to the outdoor lights as possible. They stuck to the windows and doors, crawling and creeping. I could almost hear them crying out, “Let me in! I belong inside! Pleeeaaase!”
The gnats like the standing water of the lake and its boggy surroundings. I closed my eyes and exhaled as I pushed through clouds of whirring wings. I blew as much air out as I could to keep from sucking any bugs in. I tried not to think of Old Testament plagues and their order of increasing magnitude.
But, inevitably, I did suck some bugs down. Some tried to get into my eyes. Some flew into my hair or tried to lodge in my nose. I kept swatting and I kept moving. One stuck to my lips. Thanks, Burt’s Bees, for making lip balm irresistible to insects. I appreciate it.
The gnats of doubt like to dive-bomb my spirit. They don’t totally go away, though I swat at them and keep my mouth closed. I ingest a few, sometimes, along the way. Do I even have any miles in me today? Did we hear from God about fixing up our house? Why hasn’t our house sold yet? The thoughts swirl and the emotions surge, like a moody lake in our spirits.
Today should mark the end of my running streak. Actually, yesterday. It’s more than a month since I started running at least a mile every day. Originally, I signed on to do Memorial Day to Independence Day. I have no idea how many miles I’ve logged overall. I did 17 last week. I’d like to get 19 in this week. I’ve put in 37 days so far. What’s 9 more?
We can keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other. You get up and just do it. Noah built the ark over 80 years. He must have felt mighty foolish at times. Abraham had second thoughts placing Isaac on the rock as a sacrifice. We can’t see the end or the outcome. Yet God has the answers. I just need to put in the faith..
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1