Running Naked

I ran naked the other day.

Now, don’t go into shock.  It wasn’t that kind of “naked”  (or “nekkid” as the native Kentuckians around us say.)

I ran without a phone. Without music. Without a watch. Without any “tech” type of gear. Just me, enjoying a 50 degree winter day, in my running shoes, capris and long sleeve t-shirt.

And for the first 15 minutes or so, it felt odd. Weird.

I am so used to having earbuds in, listening to podcasts or music, having the phone tell me when to run or walk, watching it for my time and speed, glancing at it for distance and pace.

The quiet was…disquieting.  It has been a while since I have run naked, allowing myself to run by feeling, rather than by a watch. It has been a while since I have  not allowed myself to get lost in an audio book, or music, or podcast. It has been a while since I have taken the time to get lost in the silence and quiet.

And then, I got lost in it. I tuned in to the sound of my footfalls. I became more aware of my breathing.  I heard birds. Train whistles. I became more aware of the sensations of muscle fibers twitching, cold breeze against my skin, trickle of sweat down my back.

And in the quiet, I had time…no, I GAVE time…to listen to God.

The past few weeks have been hard.  I have wrestled, I have been angry, and I have (mentally) screamed, yelled, and had myself a good ol’ temper tantrum with God.  I have cried out, wept, and poured out the burdens that weighed heavy upon my soul.  But it has all been one-sided. It has been me talking, yelling, crying…but never listening.  And so, by running naked, I was able to silence my own thoughts and allow Him space in my head to speak, and space for me to listen.

There was so much quiet. I invited Him in, I asked to hear His voice, I asked Him to be with me.  And with the rhythm of my steps, I fell into the quiet and fell into a deep sense of peace.  Occasionally through my run, songs of praise would run through my head, and I would allow it, matching the rhythm of the song to the pounding of my feet.  For much of the run, there was just silence. And peace. An overwhelming sense of peace. Peace that, in the turbulence and the unknown and the fear of the past weeks, felt wonderful. I felt His breath, giving life to me, breathing into dry bones, stirring up the dust.

I came home from that run renewed. Revived.

Clothed in His presence.

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