If you follow me on Facebook you know I recently committed to incorporating a run on the beach with my morning meditations. Yesterday was my fifth day of honoring that commitment to myself. I usually go right before dawn. I first read and meditate on the Holy scriptures, then conclude scriptural mediation by greeting the dawn with a run. I run anywhere between 2 to 2.5 miles. I should mention this is a new phenomena, as I don’t usually run unless something is chasing me. Along the way, I sing praises to the Creator and share with Him my questions, concerns and petitions. Well … truth be told, I primarily sing in my head. Mostly because after awhile it’s all I can do to keep breathing, and I start wheezing like a locomotive at the quarter mile mark.
All in all, it works out okay, because I typically pause at the quarter mile, half mile, three quarter mile mark, and so on … to stretch and make sure my muscles stay loose and limber . Well… actually it’s to avoid dying of asphyxiation on account of the wheezing. Plus, it’s kind of hard to hear Him above the roar of the blood rushing from my head in confusion – you know, on account of all the running. NEVERTHELESS, it is during these well timed intervals, I turn to the sea to listen for God’s answering voice in the roar of the surf. It is during those moments that this labor becomes very spiritual when, with my face turned to sun and sea and heart raw and open, my soul cries, “Are you there God? It’s me, Renée.” (If you’re of my generation, you’ll recognize the nod to Judy Blume here.) Then all grows silent in the recesses of my heart and my breathing quiets as I listen for His answering call.
WELL… yesterday I had an early meeting, so I missed the quietness of dawn. But, nevertheless, upon conclusion of my meeting, I dutifully headed to the beach. I’m told after 14 days this ritual will become habit, so I didn’t want to slow my momentum by missing even one day. So here I am, running on the beach, looking for all the world like Bo Derek from “10.”
Just in case you are too young to remember the reference…
Well, at least in my mind. Except for the wheezing part and the fact that my butt still kind of jiggles when I run -and not in a good way. But it’s getting firmer every day! Did I mention I got my hair braided just for the occasion. Truth be told, Ms Derek appropriated the hairstyle from my peoples. But, I digress…
SO, here I am running down the beach, and at my well timed interval – I believe I was at the 1 mile mark – I pause to stretch. I had just turned my face to the sea, heart crying out, “Are you there God? It’s me, Renee,” when all of a sudden I see rising from the surf a bronzed Adonis in a wet suit, surf board tucked under arm. HELLO! My – jaw – DROPPED and suddenly, I wasn’t feeling very spiritual. To ensure you fully understand the import of this statement, let me describe…
The sun is glinting off the sea and the waves are crashing wildly against the shore. Against this wild, raw beauty, this 6 foot something, well chiseled, son of man arises from the sea. The reveal was a top to bottom kind of thing. First his head emerged. He had thick, raven black hair with a beautiful, light peppering of silver throughout, and silver-grey wing tips at his temples. He had dark, swarthy, well-tanned skin, and a strong and chiseled jawline covered with a just a shadow of a beard. The sun highlighted the droplets of sea still clinging to his face as he rose from the sea to reveal broad shoulders and a well sculpted physique. His legs looked like the marble statue of David, and I promise you I could see his six pack rippling through the black, wet suit he was wearing.
It was only when he raised his surfboard to perch it atop his head, and his biceps (and triceps, and what not) rippled that I realized I was staring with my mouth agape. How very unspiritual of me! In my effort to regain my composure – Honestly! It just would not do for him to catch to me staring at him like that – I forgot I was supposed to be stretching, and quickly turned to start running again… and stepped right into a sinkhole. You guessed it; I went DOWN. Windmill style. As I desperately tried to avoid a forward face plant, the following thoughts (did I mention all of this happened in slow motion) went through my mind: (i) Father, please don’t let him be watching me; (ii) I don’t remember this EVER happening to BO in “10”!; and (iii) Jesus, HELP! In fairness, I suppose God did intervene, as instead of a face plant, I ended up in an ear plant, my foot firmly entrenched in the sinkhole. Of course, he saw me and immediately rushed over to see if I was okay. Humiliation? Complete. I quickly tried to right myself, ear, mouth, and other parts that will remain unnamed, full of sand and all. He looked even better close up and he smelled like the sea mixed with man scent. And when he started feeling up my ankle, I almost passed out.
I must have looked unsettled, because he quickly said, “It’s okay I’m a doctor. I just want to make sure you didn’t break your ankle.” Wait. Did he say doctor? Well, if that wasn’t icing on the cake. I quickly assured him I was okay. “Nothing harmed except my ego,” I said, as I tried to discretely shake the sand from my left ear without looking like someone afflicted with Tourette’s Syndrome. To prove my point, I quickly stood up and he rushed to help me. “Are you sure you’re okay?” he says. As I again assured him I was sound, he continued. “If I wasn’t in my wetsuit, I would have one of my business cards to give you. Your ankle will probably be pretty sore tomorrow.” I only contemplated for a second if it would be undignified to mention I had my cell phone and would happily add his number to my contact list. In the end, I remembered the higher, SPIRITUAL purpose of my presence on the beach that day. After final assurances I would be okay and well wishes to have a great day, we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways.
I only looked back once, just to make sure he didn’t watch me walk away. And as I turned to continue on my run, I prayed… “Are you there God? It’s me Renee.” I’m pretty certain I heard God’s laughter in the pound of the surf.
“God saw all that he had made—and it was very good! ” Genesis 1:31 (I AGREE!)