After three long days of sitting in scientific meetings telling me Americans don’t get enough exercise, I skip out the front door of the convention center and into a city I don’t know and turn right. Weaving my way around pedestrians, past store fronts, around tree stumps, over uneven cobblestones, I swing wide to navigate past a woman walking her dog.
Smitten, of course, it’s a sweet old dog, I pause to greet the lumbering black and white beast and smile at his owner who is gamely trying to pull her charge along. He’s being a bit contrary, ambling begrudgingly despite his master’s prodding.
The woman looks at me and back at the dog. “See?” the woman says nodding in my direction,”She’s sporty. We all need our exercise.”
I’m sporty, apparently, because I go for a brisk walk in sneakers and track pants. I speak exercise to those I pass, not in a ‘you should be’ way but a ‘don’t you wanna?’ way. This woman and I have never met, but one look tells her a lot and speaks even more.
Oh, the irony, as there are thousands of sport science experts just around the corner at the convention center, presenting their findings, debating the details, and lamenting the sad state of the health and fitness of the people in their communities. Ah, progress marches on and science with it. Knowledge is powerful, but what about the power of practice?
If we walk the walk, words are optional.
Lots of people tell me God is pursuing me. He’s after me. He wants me. He’ll find me. This presumes that I am running away.
I am not running away. I am doing what comes naturally. I hang out in places that I like to be. Places that welcome me, feed me, comfort me. God knows where I hang out; that’s where He’ll come looking.If I like the good conversation and strong coffee at Starbucks, He’ll find me there.
If I like to write in my journal about the thoughts before the day, he’ll find me there.
If I like to walk my dog after dinner, He’ll find me there.
If I like to coach the same team season after season, he’ll find me there.
I think we get it wrong when we think we have to go looking for God.
Isn’t it funny that when I connect with old friends – folks who knew me from my younger days – they aren’t surprised where I have ended up? In fact, they would have predicted that teaching and coaching and athletics done with a bit of science thrown in is just where I would land. Kind of like a well-written mystery novel. When it wraps up, you say, of course that’s how it all turned out. All the clues were right there!
Oh, sometimes we get it out of order. The skill comes before the practice. The teaching comes before the teacher. The message comes before the understanding. But this is hopping. Hopping over and back. Beyond and then before. But when we land in just the right place at just the right time, we gasp and say, “Of course, that’s how it was supposed to come out. It’s the only logical conclusion.”
That’s what happens when someone holds the rope of your life from its end and gives it a tug. It straightens.
God is the only one who can see us from around the curves. He knows where to look. Wherever He’ll find us.