Drats! No jog this week!

As most of you know, often the subject matter of these Shabbat encouragements comes while I take my morning jog. I find that I can be on the same path I’ve taken so many times before, and yet, as I commune with my Abba, He will let me see something in a new way, with new eyes, hear the song I’ve heard repeatedly speak to me differently, inspire me with His presence.

It’s been a bit of a rough week since I injured my knee while jogging a few days ago. Not only have I been struggling with pain and poor sleep as a result, I also have not been able to run, sorely (literally!) missing my special time with HaShem. As I was saddened thinking I have nothing to share with you this week, I soon realized that conclusion was false.

Most of us have friends, perhaps from childhood or from previous places we’ve lived, whom we don’t have the opportunity to be with on a regular basis. Yet we stay close in our hearts and when we do get together or chat by phone, it’s as if they were with us all the time. We have that kind of closeness.

We love looking at photos of places we’ve visited and of events in our lives. We can relive the experiences of the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, the beauty of cathedrals, the intricacies of a blossom, the joy on loved ones’ faces, as we look at those captured moments in our lives. The memories bring us happiness without our having to relive each experience anew.

What a joy to create a work, whether it’s a new recipe, a song, a writing, a new idea, a lesson plan, a structure, a freshly mowed yard. We love looking at the finished product and hope for another opportunity to contribute to our surroundings.

HaShem reminded me this morning that I don’t need to jog to be with Him, to hear Him, to be inspired by Him. He showed me that our relationship is even deeper than that of any friend for we can hear each other all the time without the phone call. It just takes me listening. I need only look out my window or be with a loved one to experience more than the best photograph, for His infinite creativity and omnipresent love surrounds us. I can be in awe of His created world around me, only amplified as I interact with it to co-create. Add to these givens the extra closeness we reach as we read His Word, lovingly given to us, and pray and praise Him.

Although having special times set aside for intimacy with God is off-the-charts mind blowing, the ways we do this are only tools to help us find Him. I picture a giant old fashioned switchboard with an infinite number of plug ins all designed to connect us to His call. We can’t even begin to conceptualize how enormous, and at the same time, how beyond microscopically cellular He is. Since our Abba, through Yeshua, is in us, with us, around us, above us, below us, we truly can’t escape His presence. The many ways we choose, and I hope you do, to be with Him are the ways we have access to experience the Divine on our side. What a world of opportunities!

Shabbat shalom.

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