Towards the end of last year, on the mornings when I would take the children to school, I would see a man out for his morning run. It was always at the same time, and he clearly ran far. But what struck me most about this man, was how serene he always looked. In the midst of the morning traffic madness and rush to get the day going, this man had a look about him as if he knew he was exactly where he was meant to be, and all was right in his world. From the chaos within my car, I would see that man and I would think: 'if that is was running does for you, then I want that.'
Now I have always had a rather intermittent relationship with running, but from the beginning of the year, I have been inspired by that runner to keep persevering in my own running. And two mornings a week (three if I can fit it in!) I head out for my run. Recently I have been running along the beachfront promenade, and I cannot understand why the whole of the North Coast does not start their day this way – enjoying the loveliness of the ocean in the morning! I have found my heart stirred in gratitude to God.
In our Lent Course session this past week, we discussed how those heart stirrings are the beginnings of prayer. And how we can learn to notice these moments that lift us up, out of ourselves, and stretch these moments out, giving God space to fill more of our lives. You don't have to be running along the beach front to experience these prayer beginnings, it can happen as we laugh or cry with family, as we enjoy music or appreciate art. What is it that stirs your heart to reach beyond yourself, to reach out to God? And how can you notice and stretch these moments in your life? Because unless we notice them, they are lost in the frantic pace in which we live. The seasons are beginning to change now, why not this week take time to notice God at work in nature and allow those moments to become prayer beginnings of God at work in you?
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