Updated...running home

This morning was typical for most mornings at FT Jackson. I woke to a screaming alarm clock at 0500 thinking of reasons not to get up. I hate early mornings, I function much better sleeping till around 0700. But my soldiers are up training so I go in to be with them. Today however I chose to run by myself on secluded section of road out on the back 40 near our rifle ranges. Its about a 4 mile loop with a one mile grade that taxes the body good. I got there hoping to get my run in before my soldiers showed up at their Fit To Win training range. If you’ve seen stripes and have a vision of John Candy careening into the wood line out of control you’d be on track. I got to my parking spot about 0545 and put on my ipod, and took off up the grade facing the pain of the next 40 minutes with some chagrin. Most days running its something I endure out of necessity. I don’t enjoy it much except for when I’m done. Some runners get a high, I don’t at all. I feel pain mostly. I’m too stubborn to quit though. But today was different. Upon completing the one mile grade I gratefully crested the hill by the parade grounds known as Hilton field. Its where our soldiers graduate to the wild cheers of thousands of adoring family and friends. Running past the grounds I noticed a pain in my chest. Nothing major, just a muscle twinge in my rib cage but enough to set my mind on a journey. I thought to my self, “I’m 41 years old, in relatively good shape. What if I had a massive coronary right now?” I thought about the immediate consequences as a 5 ton truck cruised past. Some poor sap would find a dead Chaplain on the side of the road. It would probably just ruin his day. I thought of how my soldiers would react to the guy who talked about life and Jesus being cold as a stone. I thought of Tammy, Tori and Jack and the obvious reactions they would have. I suspect we all do that now and again. The stats on death are still quite remarkable, 1 out of every 1 go at some point. But then something very weird happened. Now I’m not a real spooky spiritual type. I don’t’ see God writing words in the sky to me. But, I’m also not in the camp that says God has quit talking. I believe He’s got much to say and much to show. I was listening to my buddy Carl Cartee’s song called Break Like a Wave. It has a haunting chorus that as you listen you pray for God to literally break like a wave over you. Then it happened; in my progression of thoughts of my fictitious heart attack I had a vision or something. My mind raced ahead and I found myself in those moments just after dying, not lying on the ground lifeless but still running. Now its obvious that I was actually still running, but something weird happened. It was as if God told me that the day that He calls me home, that is what it will be like. Running! But instead of running to strengthen my body, I’ll be running home, returning from the battle to my King and His Kingdom. I imagined running through the gates of His city and not worried about anything save one, to see Him. Just to really gaze on my Savior for the first time in my life. To really see Him. To run to Him. I really don’t mind saying that tears left my eyes by Hilton field at 0605 this morning. Hope filled my very being, literal hope, truth, presence, being, life! It was amazing. Then as quick as it came I rounded the corner at our sister Battalion of 3-34 and it was gone! It was just a taste, but oh what a taste it was! It changed my day, my view of people my energy level and is even changed me as I write. I almost at this point want to say, “Ah, you were just high from the endorphins from the early morning run.” But I’m wiser than that and I know my Lord much better than that. He is so kind and on days when He chooses He taps us and says, “I’m still here! You are still my beloved son! Be encouraged, My promises are true, My gift to you is hope, and My hope does not fade” I can end my day with that. May God tap you on the shoulder as well. Be blessed

Comments

Anonymous said…
From Brad's Mom

I am greatly touched by the piece on Running...a metaphor for all of us all our lives.

Congratulations to Captain Brad.

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