Running in the dark
by You Have My Word
I went for a late night run two nights ago, around the cricket field on a deserted school ground. The air was at room temperature, even though I was outside. My flesh caught in embrace with the particles that carried moonlight to the ground and the space previously filled with the shouts and screams and cussing of rowdy students stood still. Mesmerising.
I kitted up and started at a reasonable pace – first lap, second, third. Still unable to shake the restlessness I ran faster, pushing on – eight, nine, ten, and kept going. I ran fast enough to leave my emotions behind, but not so fast that I wouldn’t hear the echo of my thoughts or the quiet voice of the I Am through the pounding of heart fists against the rib-line confines of my chest.
In the dark, damp cool of the evening it was difficult to navigate a consistent track using only the hardly visible, faint white stripe of paint around the circumference of the field. But placed about every 10 metres apart were bricks painted stark white catching the fray of moonlight – like they were anchoring the way, setting the boundary, laying the path.
The bricks gave solidity to the circle I wished to navigate with pant-pant, pitter-patter of running shoes recklessly ripping up roots of grass and weeds. Yet as much as they helped, at times they were a little farther spaced and I couldn’t see the next one till I had run a fair number of paces “blind” – simply relying on what my body knows to understand as the angle at which a circle curves.
This is life. This is faith. This is running in the dark – at times, running without being able to see the next goal or step or glimmer of hope or outcome or relief. Sometimes we’ve got to run in the dark, run blind! Sometimes we’ve got to run knowing only what our heart believes to be true. Sometimes we’ve got to run knowing just enough – knowledge granted graciously from the word of God – to keep us going till the next “white brick” appears.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
White bricks of provision, white bricks of healing, white bricks of strengthening, white bricks of mercy and forgiveness. White bricks of direction and guiding, white bricks of inspiration, white bricks of patience, white bricks of understanding, white bricks of picking up the pieces and joy.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Yes, we are runners in the dark but we are so much more victorious in the light. Keep running even when the shroud of black sky suffocates even the most erratic flicker of faith. Keep running even when you’re confined and tied down by the laces of a loveless life. Keep running even when the tread of truth rips up comfort and familiarity for you will only be better when the race is done – when you dust your shoes off, when you have won.
Keep running. Though it be dark, it is not dead. There is light; run on, and you will see.