To begin with, let me tell you a little about the day. At my work, there has been a restructure brewing since March (officially) and for several months before that (unofficially). It has been a horrible ordeal, already with so many great colleagues taking voluntary severance deal and leaving over the last two months. For those of us who are left in corporate services things are coming to a bit of a head and Tuesday was a critical day for me.
While I cannot share the details yet, let me tell you I have complete faith and peace about the situation. Whether I am to stay or leave soon, I can be assured everything will work out well in the end. I say that as I have my strong faith as a Christian, plus I am a naturally optimistic person and I often turn various situations around in a positive way.
And so on Tuesday at around 5pm, I changed into my running gear at the office, jumped into my car and drove up to Preston, the small pretty village in Hertfordshire. When I got there it was already dusk and getting dark so I wasted no time and got going. As the light was fading so quickly I decided to stick to the roads and do a circular run which I'd done before. It was a typical route, the kind of thing I can reasonably do on my way home from work and without upsetting our evening routine at home.
Here's my run in numbers:
Average pace: 6:52/mile
And the splits:
Mile Time/mile Feet
1 7:29 -69
2 6:44 -114
3 6:10 -13
4 5:47 -31
5 7:50 +158
6 6:59 +75
0.7 7:10 -7
I can tell you I was pleased with these times, especially as I hadn't set out to achieve any personal bests at all. Within those times is my personal best 10k of 42:11.
As I ran I felt so alive, my mind was full of thankfulness and joy in spite of all the uncertainties around. I ran to enjoy the run, not to beat any records and yet my mind was on God in wondering what this was all about, what was he trying to say to me. I ran through the remnants of the daylight with a very low sun skimming across the fields before it was dark. As I ran up the steep part of Charlton Hill and the wooded part, I could barely see where I was going let alone see how steep it was. I knew my strides were longer than usual as I could feel my quads pulling a little tight and my breathing was a shade deeper than normal. And yet it felt so good.
When I got back home and looked at the stats, I was surprised by some of those times, much faster than normal. Most importantly was that feeling of being tested and now blessed in such a spectacular way. I have thought about this run quite a lot since and the significance of the day. God's mercy, his undeserved grace, seems to be the main reminder when I ask what it was all about. As I said earlier, I don't know the outcome of the restructure at work and how it will affect me - but I do have that complete trust and faith things will work out.
I think this beautiful rendition of Psalm 23 sums it up, especially the phrase "And I will trust in you alone, for your endless mercy follows me, your goodness will lead me home". Take a listen:
We have been in tight situations with work a number of times before, either for Rachel or myself. Often unexpected things happen at precisely the right moment and this cannot be by chance. Somethings happen which aren't what I wanted to happen and yet, looking back, I can see now why things did go the way they went and how it is for the best.
I have run twice since then, each time that Tuesday run was on my mind so much, still wondering what lies ahead....
Running up Charlton Road, Hitchin