Thursday, August 10, 2006

Running in Fog

This morning I went for an early run. I went one of my more regular routes, a triangular route 5K in distance, and when I hit the finish line, I turned around and did the loop in the opposite direction.

The one stand-out fact about the run: it was extremely foggy out. Now, I know this route well. I know where the turns are, about how far it is between certain landmarks, and that there isn't much traffic along these roads (and when there is traffic, the drivers are usually very likely to completely switch lanes when they pass a runner).

The fog, however, changed the landscape completely. No longer were there any landmarks at all. Instead of running along a usual route, I felt like I was running somewhere else, somewhere that maybe didn't even exist outside my sight. I saw a driveway, but, no, it was the lane into the cemetary. Ahead should be the O's farm, but, no, I already passed it.

Running in the fog made me think of life in general. Most of us try to stick with the familiar. We follow patterns and get into rhythms that are comfortable, but there always comes a time when it's all obscured by fog.

A new child will do it: you've got life down, but then there comes the lack of sleep and the overwhelming nature of caring for a little one, multiplied by the fierce love you feel for him or her. And you find that the pathways that were so familiar and comfortable maybe are a little scary.

A move will do it, too: making new friends can be like looking for landmarks. You might know where they'll be (or where you'll find them), but actually finding them can be tough, and usually you don't find them very far in advance.

Losing a loved one is certainly like running in fog, and this is what I was really thinking about as I was running. No, I wasn't thinking about my own family; I was thinking about Gene and Irene. I can't help but think Irene is "running in fog" right now. She's been married to Gene for almost 60 years, and his time on earth is coming to an end. Familiar landmarks can't look all that familiar to her, nor can the path be clear. She knows where they are both headed and the path is in front of her, but we can only see so far. And the passing cars, which used to be so innocuous, now can only seem to be bearing down on her.

So would you do me a favor? Pray for Gene and Irene. Pray for him, for a comfortable passage into the loving arms of his Savior. And pray for Irene, for strength to carry on through this fog, until she reaches her finish line.

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