Wednesday, January 6, 2016

To Fan A Flameless Faith

Pain and a pending doctor appointment the next day had me in funk. Finally, after over 28,000 miles running in this lifetime, I come to the place where I can't run anymore. Oh, I can, but the pain is bad enough that I don't want to. Times like this all I know is take it to God. So I went off in the woods, built a fire, sat by it and prayed and prayed.

My prayers seemed to echoe empty back to me. I sensed no answer, no understanding, no resolution. I could not seem to reach God. Walking out of the woods to home I noticed I didn't have my glasses on. Perhaps I took them off when I took my cap off to pray? No, I didn't remember taking my cap off. Maybe I should have.

I searched the woods, the roads, my house, and everywhere I could think of where I might have taken off my glasses. Nothing. My wife joined in the search, as did my two granddaughters. Nothing. I had bought these glasses only a couple weeks ago. Now several hundred dollars has been lost; about the amount of what it would have cost me to do my ironman. My inability to run anymore along with lossing my glasses settled it for me and ironman. This ironman stuff is done, I thought. I prayed this time: "Lord, please help me find my glasses." I looked some more for the glasses. Nothing. I gave up. However, in giving up and giving in, there was an element of peace that came. So I went back to the woods to stoke the fire, sit by it, and pray. This time I will take my cap off. More than ever, I needed to hear from God again.

After putting some wood on the embers, I sat down beside the smoking pile of wood waiting for it to ignite. There was so much smoke; so little fire. I took my baseball cap off to fan the embers. Praise God, and with the first wave of the cap to fan the embers to flame, the missing glasses came flying off my cap and fell among the leaves. They had been on my cap the whole time I had been looking for them. My wife and grandchildren had not seen them on my cap though they had been right in front of me many times. And how could I have thought God wasn't near. God had been there all the time. It makes me think that these times God seems so distant, perhaps He is closer than we can ever imagine if we but "be still, humble ourselves, "take off our cap, and fan our smoldering faith to flame.