Sunday, March 2, 2014

None Shall Pass

This morning was a lovely morning for a long run.  It was 50 degrees, there was a slight breeze, and I intended to run 8 miles.  I live 1.5 miles from a small state park.  I usually run down to the park and around it and it's running trail for my runs.  The area is well lit (when I run in the dark), and generally safe.  Today my plan was to run down to the park, around the 1 mile loop, then out the back of the park to go around the outside of it, and then back around it again.  Doing that twice, plus coming home would be 8 miles.  I ran around the loop, which was very pretty this morning.  The sun peaked out just in time to make parts of the lake look golden, and the geese managed a mass landing in the lake just at the right time, so that portion of the run felt a bit poetic.  I ran around the back portion of the park to head out the back entrance when I saw a few dogs.  Strays are not unusual in this area.  Generally, they are not a problem, unless in a large pack.  There are also a few dogs that live in houses behind the park, and those dogs sometime run loose.  Today, one of those dogs decided to park itself in the center of the back entrance and would not let me pass.  I wasn't concerned when I first saw it, but then I noticed it was staring at me, no tail wagging.  I decided to stop running and just walk past it, but then as I got closer it got up and started howling at me.  I would not let me through.  I turned around slowly and walked away.  I turned and saw that the dog had sat back down and was staring at me as I went.  I decided not to try again, and I changed my route.  I ran around the lake a few times, and then headed home.

It was still a nice run, but I was annoyed at that stupid dog.  I was also annoyed that I live in an area that has so many stray and loose dogs.  There are times I hate living where I do.  There are some great things about living in this small town, but for me, the negatives tend to out way the positives.  But, now for a few of the positives from my run.  I past 5 older gentlemen as I ran.  I know each one, not by name, but I've been seeing them at the park for years.  One, (whose name I do know), asked me where my running partner was this morning.  Everyone there knows who I am and who I'm married to (it's that small of a town). There really aren't any safety issues.  I see these men, as well as some women (who weren't out this morning), every time I run.  They each wave hello and ask how I'm doing.  It is nice to know there are friendly faces looking out for me and who know my routine.

Which brings me to my devotional verse this morning:

"For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction" Gen 41:52

We have lived here for 12 years.  Mostly I have a bad attitude about it.  This place is far from my family, from anyone I care about.  The church we currently attend is really not my style (I"ll put it that way, I don't want to say anything negative or get into any theological issues).  Every Sunday, I find myself forcing myself to go for the sake of my kids.  Everything my kids do or want to do is an hour a way.  We spend a lot of time driving just to do the basics.  We homeschool, which has been good, but I don't have a choice.  The local schools are not an option, so even if I think a certain child would do better at a decent school, that isn't going to happen.  There are times I feel trapped here.  But we are here.  My husband loves his job.  It's a good job and he thrives here.  The kids are generally happy.  Yes, they would love some things to be closer, but overall they are happy.  I have a nice home, 5 great kids, a loving husband, but most days I seem to focus on what feels like an affliction.  But God has made me fruitful here.  I need to focus on that.

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