I've been having difficulties in my prayer runs recently. I could't make a clear connection. Perhaps my signal was low? Dead spot? Poor reception? Antenna problems?
I'd take off for a run and so many random thoughts start to flood my head. I entertain them one at a time and even dwelling on a few of them for awhile. I catch myself allowing these thoughts to fill my head. Then I quickly go back to my praying. But just as quickly as I return to praying I drift back to thinking about another agenda in my mind.
Some of my prayer runs even start out on the wrong foot. One day after work, I took off to blow off steam. But the whole run turned out to be a bitching mind session - thinking of how angry I was and just allowing the anger to percolate. I got back home just as mad as I started and went to bed without resolving the situation. Where's the prayer now? God, can you hear me now?
Saturday I had a chance to pick a good time for a long run. It was unexpectedly a free day. My wife and I were planning to go to San Francisco to attend a whole day workshop on cancer survivorship. However, she fell sick in the morning and decided to stay at home. I stayed with her in bed until she was feeling better. Nonetheless, I found myself with a free day. After doing some work at home, I went out for my weekend long run (15 miles) in the evening.
I started out to state my intention to pray during the run as I geared up. Out on the road, the usual random thoughts started. I let them be then let them go. One by one the thoughts came in and out. However, I felt calm and felt no pressure to get rid of the distractions. I collected myself by thinking about my wife's health then asked God why. I didn't want to dwell on it so much so I quickly offer her thought to God even though I strongly felt asking God why. Then as I lifted her up in prayer I just said, "God, can you hear me now?"
This continued on throughout my run. Random thoughts in and out, then going back to God by saying, "God, can you hear me now?" Stopped at the traffic light, doing a sharp turn, running up a hill, crossing an intersection, running under a low hanging tree branch, speeding downhill, I'd say, "God, can you hear me now?"
Finally, heading home on my last 3 miles, pushing it a little harder, I felt God said to me, "I've been with you all these times. Joey, can you hear me now?" Then, my eyes, my ears, and my heart were opened. I realized I've occupied myself with my own busy-ness, dug in on my own frustration and anger, wallowed in self-pity, and actually disconnecting myself to God.
I felt comfort when I finally got back home. I immediately checked on my wife who was sound asleep. I ate some dinner for recovery then I stayed up to watch TV with my son. I went to bed last night thinking that God is always with me, waiting and listening, and also, calling me. I pray to be attuned to Him and thus ready to answer his call.