Laps of Kainui Lake early in the morning began amid the disorientation of a low Waikato fog. Fortunately, no navigation was required as there was only one track. There was a sense of the irregular shape of the lake, but not the big picture. A three kilometre loop invited seven laps to constitute a half marathon, officially a 'long run' in my book. Of course the preacher in me appreciated sense of completion that seven gives.
The laps had an unfolding character, as the surrounding landscape was progressively revealed by the advance of the day and the lifting of the fog. Orientation to the environment, a sense of direction and the 'lie of the land' became possible. The laps also held a sense of energy depletion, the last one requiring some mental determination as physical energy diminished.
The life journey can be like this, we have times when outcome and direction are far from clear. We don't know which way is up or where to turn. We may be bogged down with issues, grief or difficult decisions. But God gives us a path - maybe not a freshly gravelled path as with Lake Kainui, but a path nonetheless. We feel the laps of repeated scenarios.
God, if we have the ears to hear and eyes to see, will reveal the light of day to us as we continue. This is the work of faith and hope. With the Spirit's breath, the fog will lift. Paul encouraged the church at Corinth with these words:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16–18
As we press into these laps of life, it can sometimes seem like Groundhog Day. But the perception of God's landscape and direction grows even as we commit more energy to moving forward in faith. Don’t worry about doing things perfectly – just keep moving forward.
God’s got you.