Listening.

Monday, June 17, 2013

 
So, I run now.  Ha!  Me.  And, if I can run, ANY ONE can run.  (I'm just adding that as a preface, in case you think I'm some fitness guru - I'm not.  Four months ago, I hadn't 'formally' exercised in years.)

But now?  In the mornings, the alarm beeps quietly at 6:00am, and I sneak downstairs and slip on my running shoes and I run. For years and years I was a self-proclaimed 'non-runner'. But lately, I've caught the bug.
 
I love running because I feel more healthy than I ever have (in my life).   But I love running especially because of the peace, the calm, the total solitude of the early hours.  When we sat in a circle at a homeschool meeting, I shared that this is where I find my center.  Where I re-group.  Some do it on a recliner, snuggling up with God's word, some look out a kitchen window and gaze at God's creation – I run through the woods.  Yeah, I'm a bit of a tree-hugger but I wouldn't trade it for anything. 
 
Another thing running has taught me, is to listen.

I tried a few times to put music on the ipod that clocks the kilometers. I tried worship tunes, the radio, even a sermon. (Go me, eh?)  But I could always hear the faint chirps of birds and scurrying of chipmunks and calls of loons drowned out in the background. I would end up taking the ear buds out every single time. Now, I don't ever bother with them.
 
Instead, I run and I listen to the nothing.  The nothing which is really such a magical something.
 
The sun rises in the distance and its rays glimmer through the trees on the horizon. I'm in sweaty, non-runner bliss. I even run with my arms raised to the sky.  I'm loopy, I know.  But, how can I not worship with the mourning dove and the hawk?

How did I miss this for 29 years of my life?

(And sometimes, I slow down and snap photos, like these ones from the other morning...)

 
 
 
 

 
When you're in nature, everything around you is calling you to surrender and re-align, and adore the creator.  That's why Charlotte Mason was so keen to have children spend at least three hours outdoors daily.  Daily.

So, in the mornings, I run, and I adore, and I listen.
 
To the sound of my feet hitting the pebbled path.
Thank you, Lord for a healthy body that moves. That I can choose to move.
 
To the sound of a that calling mourning dove, waking on a country roof.
Thank you Lord, for the song of nature's flight.
 
To the sound of a soft brown rabbit, leaping out of sight as I draw near.
Yes, thank you, Lord for fluffy things that hop.
 
To the sound of a creaking bridge as I cross.
Thank you, Lord for the bridges you build and for fixing the ones I burn.
 

 It has taken me almost thirty years to learn this truth - the quiet times aren't there waiting to be filled with noise. 

They are there to be welcomed and embraced, just as they are.

 
They are times to listen carefully to the symphony all around us. Rustling leaves and scurrying chipmunks. A heron lifting off the water's edge. The bubbling and gurgling of the creek in early morning light. These are all gifts, the most precious gifts we can open our hands and receive.

The gift of quiet.
The gift of nature.
The gift of hearing.

God's voice is found among the chirps and the waking and the flowing, ever-flowing waters. I find Him there.  You can too.

And He is here as well. In this kitchen. With chipmunks peeking in the screen door and chickadees at the birdfeeder and three children, healthy and laughing.

Friends on the other end of the phone, trucks moving outside, the neighbors ducks and geese making themselves heard.

Listen. Not to the TV or the radio or the music. Turn them off and surrender to the quiet. Encourage your children to do the same.  Get out in God's creation and open ears to the natural sounds that are all around you. You will hear the gifts and you will find the miracles.

Just tune in.




 
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3 comments:

  1. This is wonderful. I can relate. I just started running/walking too. I haven't ever considered myself a runner, but for the first time in my life I'm loving it. I remember running in school when I was in middle school, and just dreading running because I thought I was never good at it. So glad I can see the beauty in it now, and the peace and quiet.

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  2. Oh how I love the sounds of nature on my trail runs. I have never run with headphones, I don't want to tune out when I run, I want to tune in...to myself and to nature.

    Enjoy your runs and the symphony of nature.

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