the path before you.


On Palm Sunday, I am going to be running a half marathon. (I am just as surprised as you are.)

I dealt with the extremely intimidating idea of training by putting my plan into my calendar so that it would show up each morning and then just doing whatever it said. There’s a basic rhythm to the plan (short runs on Mondays and Thursdays, a medium run on Wednesday, and a long run on Saturday) but I never look ahead to see what’s coming up. If I did that, I am sure I would believe that I couldn’t do it. I would despair at the number of miles and worry about my own strength. And so, very early on, I resolved to take each number as it appeared on my phone and do that next thing.

It has also helped me to run the loop at our local park, which is about a mile and a half. I don’t have to think much about what comes next (except that the recent ice storm knocked down a lot of trees that are still blocking parts of the path), I just listen to Beyonce and put one foot in front of the other.


Running 11 miles, as I did on Saturday, is very different than walking a labyrinth, but the things that I have learned from my training are similar: don’t look too far ahead, stay in the moment, follow the path.

Perhaps that is why I recognized the echo of the labyrinth in my cousin Tara’s words before she mentioned the labyrinth in her recent post. She quoted a friend who reminded her, “Of course you are on the right path. Whose other path could you be on?” I thought about those words during my long run on Saturday, about the things that seem to take us off track. The job that didn’t work out. The friends who moved away. Cancer and infertility and death. But there is only the path before us as it unfolds, and there is always the presence of God holding us fast.


I offer these purloined words as a benediction for you as well: “Of course you are on the right path. Whose other path could you be on?” May you trust your strength and the steady love of God as you take the next step, and then the next one after that.

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