I am running. Pushing through the tightness in my chest – side effects of this cold. Pounding pavement. I find myself looking at my feet and nowhere else. The extent of my vision just a step or two ahead of me.
Always able to see the next step. Nothing more. The road is winding. Uphill. Hasn’t been paved in years. Every step brings potential danger. The feet that carry me forward are clumsy and I don’t dare, can’t risk, looking up.
Focused on the ground. All I can think about is the lack of oxygen. The burning in my chest. How much I hate running. Part of me just trying to keep going. Keep breathing. Keep pounding. The rest of me begging to stop. The finish line is too far ahead. Out of sight. Out of reach.
In desperation, I look up. Looking for something. Some motivation. Some reason to take another step. And there, right before me, across the valley and above the distant mountains, the sun is setting. Oranges and purples shooting through the sky. The mountains covered in gold. The night is on fire and the fire is spreading.
Beauty. Overwhelming beauty. I can’t take my eyes away. I can only pursue the sun.
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” – Hebrews 12:1
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