Home > Uncategorized > Weekly Lifelines 8/2/2020

Weekly Lifelines 8/2/2020

Whitewater State Park is one of my favorite places. I love the big cliffs and outcroppings, the expansive views, the cold river, and the quite solitude of the forest. I’ve spent countless hours running those trails for training and for fun. On a recent run, the trail gave me something surprising: The awareness of something that I hadn’t noticed before.
The humid air that morning left a slippery film of water on the trail’s polished rock. As I navigated down a steep hill loaded with slippery rocks, I worked hard to keep my footing. I chose each footfall as carefully as I could, so that I wouldn’t slip or fall. In that moment, moving down that slippery hill, my attention was completely consumed by each step. There was no extra energy to ponder worries about work or home, or for thoughts about what I’d make for dinner. There was no room to appreciate the view from the hill—there wasn’t even space to worry about where the trail went three steps up ahead. On that cool and humid forest path, my mind knew only one step at a time, right there and then.
In retrospect, this insight isn’t anything terribly surprising. When a person is focused on something important, especially when possible danger is lurking, the mind has little energy for anything else. Nothing new there. What surprised me on the trail that morning was the realization of just how hard it is to notice when it’s happening. I’ve run literally hundreds of miles along those trails. I’ve descended that exact hill—that same slippery rock—dozens and dozens of times. And this is the first time I noticed that when I’m on it, I only see one step at a time.
It has sometimes been hard to find perspective in the midst of this pandemic. Some days, as I take stock of all that’s happened, it seems that I’ve done little more than navigate from one slippery rock to the next from sunup till sundown. From one crisis or challenge to the next, there’s often been little space to contemplate much else. Sometimes, it’s been difficult to figure out where God is moving or even to feel that divine presence.
But that doesn’t mean God isn’t there. On the contrary, whether we have attention to notice or not, God is always right there with us, watching our backs, aiding us in placing our feet, and helping us keep our bearings. As the psalmist says, “Though they stumble, they shall not fall, for the Lord upholds them by the hand.”
If there’s anything I can do to help you navigate these challenging times, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

P.S. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Q & A last Sunday. We had a wonderful and uplifting conversation. Notes from that meeting (July 26) are here. Notes from our previous Q & A on June 28 are here.
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