Most of us are in the cruel, cold grip of winter. Snow days stopped being fun a million years ago. We’re cooped up, dried out, and craving the warmth of spring. Or even just for our fingers to warm up enough to be somewhat useful. We have long gone from enjoying a cozy morning in front of a fire because it is now a heaped up pile of ash that has lost all its charm if not its warmth.
And training. I find myself weirdly longing for the crazy hot summer runs that left me drenched and stinky. Layers is the new game and I am it’s queen. If you have a race on your schedule, you run. We’re like the post office.
And so I yanked on my double layer of tights. I squeezed my winter flesh into two tech tops. I zipped up my down vest, wrapped my Buff around my face and stepped off the porch into the polar vortex. I’m tough like that.
My eyes stung. My nose ran. My tootsies tingled. And I ran. I peered at the barren trees, so dead ugly. And I pretended I saw spring, though there was not a hint of a green bud to be seen. I imagined the grass forcing the dead brown away. I imagined the shush of leaves in a warm spring breeze.
The sun threatened to poke out from behind ripped paper clouds. And for a moment, I was Edmund Pevensie, getting a foretaste of the promised glory.
And that is the truth. Spiritual lives are cyclical. They are painful and renewing like the seasons. We must trudge through the cold dead ick of winter to get to the lush birth of fresh hope. Running lives are cyclical, too. We do run the race, no matter the weather.
What is the alternative?