Finding an Ever Present God: A 5 Day Bible Plan With Austen Hardwick

Day 3 of 5 • This day’s reading


Day 3: Running to see

Observing the sabbath meant that the women brought ointment for embalming Jesus' body on the first day available. I would have done the same thing, my religious loyalty driving my next move, even if it meant looking for him amongst the dead. But he was not to be found there.

Reflect: If you are a runner or dog-walker, you may well appreciate with me the secret of the early hours. Before the world has truly got started, some of us are outside, appreciating the dew on the grass, the first lights of houses, the gradual coming to life of the rhythms of the working day. 

To be outside and alone is a time of refreshing, a renewal of gratitude, a time to thank God for all He has made and continues to give, family, friends, the seasons. It has been strange for me to learn that this can be a spiritual experience, providing a sense of union with God as much as any available within a more formal church setting. My senses are alive, my eyes and ears are open, and I am in a quiet place where I can talk with God.

Religious loyalty is a default for many of us. It drives us on. If we can just sustain familiar practices, then all will be well. Even a pandemic can be overcome. But what if a pandemic is inviting us to see afresh? What if our disorientation has birthed new appreciation of a God who is living and therefore on the move? It may well be that we meet again in the same buildings with the same people at the same times, all of which is good and builds the church. But what if our lockdown experience has given us new ways of seeing ourselves, one another, and the life available in a resurrected Christ?

Early morning runs were a revelation for me, but you don't need to become a fitness fanatic. I run in order to see more of God, but you will do something else perhaps. Whatever it is, explore it and tell others about it.

Prayer: Alive God, I want to learn how to see, for the building up of your church. Amen.