There is nothing quite as invigorating and intoxicating as a an early morning run. The cool breeze on my face, as I move briskly to the rhythm of my feet striking the pavement. At least that is the way I imagine running to be while I am still thee blankets deep in the bed. I certainly love the dreamy idea of running like a true athlete, elegantly sprinting along the sidewalk as the sun rises to greet the morning sky. In reality, any attempts I’ve made at running look more like I am being chased by a bear, that is, a rather slow and unmotivated bear. My feet are clunky and my face turns a splotchy shade of red that evokes stares from my neighbors; quite the contrast from the romantic image I consider as I pull my comforter up around my chin.
I recently made the mistake of trying to keep pace with my sister during an afternoon run at her house. I should note the absurdity of trying to keep pace with my sister, who is faster than me on her worst day, wearing only one shoe, and pushing an elephant in a stroller. The gravel in her driveway crunched under my feet and I found myself slowly transforming into a lowercase letter “r”. My chest arched over making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Suddenly aware of my less than flattering shape-shift, I forced myself upright and cast my eyes as heavenward as they would go. Immediately, Psalm 121 came to mind: “I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber.” (Psalm 121:1-3)
In our day to day lives, as in running, the more difficult our circumstances grow the easier it becomes to cast our eyes downward. Sometimes we look down to avoid looking ahead and to hide from what we do not understand. Sometimes we find ourselves tilting and falling under the weight of our own worry and doubt. Our countenance follows our eyes and our hope is not far behind. All this does is send us further from our Helper and make our circumstances all the more difficult.
Friend, look up! Search the heavens and not the ditches, our Protector does not slumber. He loves to make our paths straight, and when a curvy one is necessary He assures us that He will keep us from slipping.