Nearby is a small historic park. It has an official name and everything, but I have named it simply, "The Hill." I love that it's so close. And even though it's smack dab in the middle of the busy suburbs, once I head down its familiar trails, it's almost as if that part of the world just disappears. Sometimes it feels like my own private place. It's where I find solitude.
And every time I go there, I seem to always find God. Perhaps because I go looking for Him.
It's been a favorite location of mine for years now. I go there when I want to exercise or pray or cry or just work out my frustrations on it's winding paths. There are several paths to walk. Some are easy - they are paved and shady. Others are more challenging and require some skill and athleticism as they are steep and rocky. And I love to go and sit at the very top where it overlooks much of the city.
Instead of church yesterday, I went to the hill. I walked some and jogged some. It felt good to see progress in myself as being able to do a bit of light jogging, even for brief spurts at a time, is some what of a big deal for me. It feels exciting to pick up the pace. I was kind of loving it.
I felt my muscles tighten as I climbed the steep and steady incline that led to the top of the hill as the sun beat down on me. This might sound weird, but it's in those moments of a good work out that make me feel the best. When I can feel the sweat, feel the burn in my muscles and feel my body respond to what I'm asking it to do. It's both strenuous and rejuvenating at the same time.
The hill somehow brings clarity. Being out in nature and allowing my body to get some good exercise somehow opens up my mind to think more clearly and even feel more deeply. And every time I'm there I tell myself - I need to come here more often.
As I walked yesterday I thought about how my life and my relationship with God reminded me of these trails. Some times have felt good - easy, happy, and shady where the breeze felt great. Others felt hard, rocky, and the heat became almost unbearable and left me desperate for some relief. Other times in life felt (or even currently feel) never ending until the next bend in the road came and the scenery would finally change. And no matter what my walk has looked like or what trails I've been on, my body feels better after. All of me feels better. The walk challenged me, strengthened me, energized me and refreshed me. And I know the same is true for my "walk" with God.
I'm not really sure where I am on my walk with God these days. It keeps changing as He keeps inviting me to share in MORE with Him. And I'm not sure how to describe the path we are walking on, but the point is, we are walking.
And the pace is picking up to a light jog. And I'm kind of loving it.