In recent years, one of the highlights of visiting my side of the family post-Christmas has been going on a New Year’s Eve run with my brother-in-law. Colin has a natural gift of encouragement, well-honed by his chosen profession of orthodontistry, putting his patients at ease.
Yesterday, Colin took Jo and me on a 16K trail run. It was a stunning day, and it was good to get out. The terrain varied, from gentle climbs and descents, to steeper versions of both, across open sun-kissed hillside and in deep shade beneath towering trees. At times, the view was so glorious that we had to stop to take it in. On occasion, the ascent was so steep we slowed to a walk. The path under our feet was, at turns, beautifully smooth or so stone-y and unstable that with every step our ankles were at risk of twisting. The final descent back into the village was steep and muddy, the mud generously mixed with horse shit.
At no point did Jo or I know where we were, but we trusted our guide. By the time we got home, our bodies ached, but we were glad we had done it. And we had both run a greater distance than we had ever done before.
And that is why running is life, in focus.
And why a good guide to run beside you is a revelation of God in the world.