Monday, February 18, 2013

small graces

I woke up on Saturday morning afraid that that was faint light I saw trying to peek through the slats of my blinds. I turned over and opened my eyes just wide enough to read the time on my phone: 4:56. My alarm would go off just a little over an hour later so I could get out the door and to a new running group by 7am. Joining any new running group would give me a few jitters, but my intention was to find a story to write about in this group — an assignment that’s been causing me some worry because I’m afraid I won’t be able to pull it off — so I felt an added pressure to make this group count. When all I really wanted to do was do a long run by myself, on a course that was familiar and that I chose. So instead of falling back to sleep, I spent the next hour fitfully willing morning not to come. Not a good way to begin my weekend. Who starts a Saturday already stressed out?

But I was committed, if not for the writing assignment, then because I’d told my housemates I was going. And I hate not following through on things I say I’m going to do when other people know about it. About ten minutes before I needed to leave, I laced up my shoes and sat on the couch with my warm coffee and thought about my writing assignment. I asked God for a small grace, some easy way into the day that had already started off so rough internally. Outside the sun was bright and gentle, offering a new day to anyone who was ready for it.

At the group, I met a few people but ran alone, which in the end is what I prefer anyway. I didn’t find anyone who was quite my pace (story of my life, eh?). But listening to my own rhythmic breathing and the natural soundtrack that belonged to this new-to-me course was soothing. The first four miles was almost all uphill, and that felt right: a challenge, but one I could meet and that made me feel like I was working.

That small risk — and receiving God’s small graces — set the pace for my weekend. There were other things I didn’t want to face, but like morning, came whether I was ready or not. I guess I could choose to stay in my room with the blinds shut, but I’m finding again and again that the best way is straight through. In the end, I was given precious conversations with two lovely women, a fun movie night with the ladies, dinner with a family from my church, and prayer from someone who could empathize with wounds I’m trying desperately to heal.

During a short nap late Sunday afternoon, I started to wake up and sense the light through my blinds slowly dimming, and I felt that faint, nameless sadness that comes with evening and I thought, I don’t want these graces to end…

1 comment:

  1. Praise God. Sounds like a good day because of His goodness and your decision to enter it right.