About more than you or me …

There is this room I will often go to within our church, to pray.

Which.. is why I go there, actually.

It’s called the prayer room.

It is beautiful.  Quiet.  Sunlight on a Sunday morning almost always is streaming through the windows.  Even when it’s gray outside.  It seems the sunlight finds its way in.

And when I need to gather my thoughts, further ground myself in life and in my faith and sit tight for a moment, really wrap my head back around the reality of how small any of our problems are in the big scheme of things.. this is one of the places I like to go.

And I needed time there today.

I have so much to be thankful for .. and I don’t feel like I can ever express my gratitude enough for the gifts I personally have in my day-to-day.  For the people in my life and for the opportunities to grow, explore and help wherever I can.  And time.  After losing too many I love in this life, I am keenly aware of the gift of time.

Time is one of those things you can never get back.

Which is why I pray today so much of the stress, animosity and unnecessary anger I’m seeing ruin time, opportunity and relationships around me.. find some way to heal.  And this isn’t aimed at any one person or group of people, contrary to what they might want to believe.  I see it at work, in the lives of many whom I love, in our community, in our state right now and everyday in the news.

I try, in the time I ever get to spend sitting alone in that little room, with the sun on my face.. to always focus my thoughts on what issues I can own, what I can work on myself, what I might help others with and then I give the rest over to God.

Now, I don’t mean to go all ‘church’ on anyone here.  But I think its important, especially as this is a day to day journal/personal account and legacy project of my own for my daughter .. that she understand, my faith is an important part of who I am.

I try and go as often as I can to church because I find it healing.  She and I love to go together whenever possible, she actually enjoys it to the point she asks to go.  The Cowboy and I have especially been doing all we can to make it to church when he is visiting as well.  I love that we all are able to share this.

And as we’ve been dealing with what seems an extraordinary amount of drama, hurt and challenges as of late .. from all angles .. family .. life, career …..on a micro-level:

The message today couldn’t have been any better.  (It’s how I usually feel each week as we get into the sermon.  That there couldn’t have been a more appropriate message to address and help me think through how I’m living my day to day, based on the challenges of that particular week.  I hear a lot of parishioners at our church say the same .. )

We all get so caught up in our own stuff…

That we forget, the world is actually a very big place.

Where most people are actually trying literally .. to just survive.

Their problems are no food.  Unsafe drinking water.  Personal safety.  Trying to keep a roof over their heads.

And I’m/we’re focusing our time and energy .. where?

http://living-earth-desktop.en.softonic.com/download

The link above is to an app called Living Earth our pastor pointed out this morning.

“When God sees our planet… he sees over all of this,” explaining what the app shows.  “We’re completely different.  When left to ourselves, we think its just about ourselves,” he said

“We get an idea,” he added .. “that the world is .. ‘our own little sphere’.  Our little neighborhood or our little county.  (He pauses)  The world is big.  A lot bigger than our little sphere.  God is committed to blessing the entire world.  This app reminds me of God’s concern and love for the entire world … And he’s doing that through ordinary people, like us.”

How can we make a difference?

How can we remember, as we’re enveloped into our day to day and head back out into our own little worlds after the service ends each week….

..that there is a bigger world out there.  A world God needs to pay just as much attention to, if not more than many of the issues we feel overwhelmed by here at home.

How can we work together, to heal a broken world.  State.  Neighborhood.  Or home.

I’m pretty sure I’ll find my way back to the prayer room to contemplate that again in the near future.

In the meantime.. for anyone that might read this and cares to hear more from todays sermon –  http://www.blackhawkmedia.org/MP3/2012Feb19.mp3

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Runners étiquette ..

We hadn’t gone far Saturday morning..

When we ran across another runner.

“Hi,” I said …

“Hi,” … she replied.  Smiling.

The Cowboy was running alongside me.  He said nothing.  The only sound coming from him, now a step in front of me to make room on the path for the other runner .. was his breathing and the sound of his shoes hitting the bare pavement.

“Hey,” I said.  “I’ve never asked, but do you know runner’s etiquette?”

The Cowboy starts laughing…

“You remember where I live, right?” says the Cowboy.  Now we’re both laughing.  “The only thing I run by when I go running… are some cows.”

…….

I love that I live in a city full of runners.  Long distance, short distance, professionals and novice runners.  And I couldn’t live on a bigger thoroughfare for athletes in this town.  I’m just a hop, skip and a jump from the main loop many train on each day, so hitting the path to do something I’ve done since I was just a little kid, do now to stay in shape and enjoy immensely, is easy.

While it may seem like you just go out and jog.. there are some rules runners live by.  (Despite being a runner, I do not know them all..)

First, say hello when you pass another runner.  Or at the very least, a small wave as you glance over and keep going on your journey.  When others are on the path, or if you’re on a sidewalk, stay in your ‘lane’.  If someone is coming at you, stay to your right.  If you’re on the street because there are no sidewalks, do the exact opposite.  Run into traffic so that they can better see you and you them.  Keep your shoes tied.  Your head up, unless you’re running a big hill and then sometimes its better to look down right in front of where you’ll take your next step so that the hill doesn’t look so intimidating.  Long distance runs?  Strike heel to toe, don’t land on the ball of your foot.  Sprinting is another story.  And breathe.  Probably the most important there.  Some of those last points weren’t etiquette.  Just good advice I’ve gotten over the years.  I think.  Take it or leave it.

One more thing, if you’re running with a dog.. or even walking, pick up after it for the love of Pete.  (Don’t ask who Pete is.  Just needed a name there.  And picking up after them, a discussion yet to come..)

The first time I took the Cowboy running with the dogs, he had one of their leashes full out and almost clotheslined a biker who expected that as they got closer, the dogs leash would get shorter and the dog out of his way.  If I weren’t laughing so hard trying to help the Cowboy reign in the dog.. I might have been mortified.

As we laugh.. there is a seriousness to it all.  And a system.  And we chuckle as we get ready to head out on another run..  they forgot to add, ‘say hello’.

There are over 40 miles of bicycle paths in Madison. These paths are used by a variety of users; including bicycle commuters, recreational bicyclists, families, pedestrians and skaters. By following a few basic rules, these paths can be shared safely by all users.

  • All users should keep to the rightside of the path, except to pass.
  • When traveling side-by-side, stay on the right half of the path.
  • Faster users should yield to slower users.
  • Always travel at a safe speed,with due regard for others. Faster users may want to consider alternate routes to ensure the safety of all users.
  • Pass others on the left by slowing down, giving an audible warning such as calling out, “Excuse me, passing left”, and waiting for a reaction before passing.
  • Move off the pathway when stopping.
  • Be careful when crossing streets and driveways. Watch for traffic and make sure other drivers are aware of the path and your presence.