Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Story of Fiction for You

Conversations on a Treadmill

“Good Morning beautiful” Sara heard a voice say as she was walking on the treadmill one Thursday morning. She turned her head to see where the voice had come from as she thought to herself. “That voice seems so familiar”. She was sure the voice belonged to someone she knew, but could not quite put her finger on it. Shaking her head slowly she tried to think of who it might be. “Well, no one seems to be around, it must have just been my imagination” she thought. Considering she was in her basement and no one was home, she concluded this must be the case. So she popped the earphones back into her ears and trudged on to finish her daily work out.

Once again the following day, as Sara approached the one mile mark there it was again, that same voice. “Good Morning beautiful” This time it was not just her imagination, she was sure of it. Quickly smacking the stop button on the treadmill, she almost loses her footing. Her feet twist around, torso going one way and hips another. Jerking her head around she looks in all directions for the voice she has just heard. Nothing! No one was around. “How could that be? Am I losing my mind?” She thought to herself. Feeling a bit spooked from the whole experience she decides to finish as quickly as possible. Also concerned that others might think her crazy, she decides to keep the whole unexplainable incident to herself. A few deep breaths to calm her nerves and she starts up the treadmill again. Workout complete, Sara sprints up the stairs to shower and begin her day.

The next day, being it Saturday, Sara decided to skip the treadmill and enjoy the day outdoors. After all it was the weekend and an unusually beautiful day for March in the Midwest. Seventy degree weather is a rarity this time of year. So off she went, hopping on her bike to take a ride through the countryside. A soft breeze blew on her face and the sun warmed her skin as she coasted down the first hill. “What a beautiful day” she thought. “I so love the beauty of nature that you have created” she silently spoke to God. “Thank You” she thought she faintly heard someone say. But the noise from the wind and rustling trees seemed to dull her hearing. The voice was barely audible, so she chalked it up once again to her vivid imagination. “Maybe I need to get my hearing checked” “Or my head examined” she mused as she rounded the bend and headed home.

A chaotic flurry it always is around the Norton house on Sunday mornings. This Sunday was no different. “I need in the bathroom, hurry up!” Sara heard one of the kids shout. “Me too”, another one shouted from the end of the hall. Everyone was scurrying around getting ready for church. “If we could make it to church on time just once, it would be a true miracle” Sara muttered as she hurried to finish dressing.

Like most Sunday’s the Norton bunch was running late and tempers were flaring. By the time they got everyone into the car and were on the way to the church there was not a smiling face to be seen for miles. Even the couple in the car next to them at the stop light didn’t look very happy. Sara was sure she saw the woman wagging her finger at her husband. “I’m not the only one this happens to each Sunday morning” she thinks smugly.
Sara clenches the bottom of her seat with both hands and holds on tight as her husband weaves his way through traffic and yells at the cars “get out of the way!” Now she thinks to herself “the heck with being on time, getting there alive will truly be a miracle”

Sara proudly refrains from letting her dissatisfaction with her husbands behavior slip out and instead decides to bring it up at a later time. “I’ll tell him what he did wrong later. Maybe tomorrow, this is the Lords day” she thinks.

When they finally get to the church and the children get to there appointed classes, Sara and her husband sneak into the service just in time to shake a few hands. Finding the only available place to sit, Sara collapses onto the pew with a heavy sigh. “Why does it always have to be so complicated” she says under her breath. After a few choruses’ of Amazing Grace, her stiff neck loosens a little and she begins to breathe a little easier. As they sing the second song, she begins to feel something that seems foreign to her. “I’ve felt this before” she thinks. “It just seems foreign to me because it’s been so long since I felt this way”. As she lifts her hands to the next song in worship, her heart softens and a familiar love washes over her. It’s God pouring his loving grace over her starving soul.

As always, the sermon was educational yet slightly convicting. Pastor Thomas has such a graceful way with presenting the gospel, while still feeding those already redeemed. As the invitation is given at the end of the service, a part of the message begins to weigh on Sara’s heart. “How’s your prayer life?” Pastor had asked. “Have you been in conversation with God lately?” The questions seemed to vibrate in Sara’s head. Hanging her head, she finally had to answer with a resounding, “NO”. She had done what she thought was her duty. She had said her prayers and brought all her wants before the Lord. But conversation was not a part of it. All Sara could feel at that moment was pure shame. “This must change” her heart told her.

Walking forward to the altar with tears in her eyes Sara fell to her knees. She then began the first conversation with God that she had attempted in a very long time. “Oh Lord, I have neglected my relationship with you too long. Please forgive me” Her heart cried out. A voice responded “You are forgiven my beautiful one. I have been waiting”. It was then that Sara recognized it. The voice had been Him. That familiar voice saying good morning each day had been God. He had been patiently waiting for her to hear Him.

Suddenly, thoughts began to rush her mind. “Last week when I snapped at Lisa, His voice had said “apologize”. I had ignored it.” “When my children had wanted me to spend time with them, His voice had said “You’re being selfish” but I took my own path and said no”. “During the argument with my husband last night, His voice had said “You’re being proud”, but still I ignored it and stood my ground”. Sara was flooded with thought after thought as she realized how far away she had gotten from God. In those few moments as she knelt at the altar, she laid all her shame at the foot of the cross and was forgiven.

Since that day much has changed for Sara. Her conversations with God now begin at day break. They are lengthy, rich in content and continue throughout the day. Most importantly, they are two sided now that she has learned to listen. She speaks to Him as she rises each morning and listens to Him as she goes to bed at night. Her conversations on the treadmill are much more fulfilling now that they are two sided. As she goes the final mile singing songs of praise, she can feel His smile upon her. Shower, breakfast, a fresh cup of coffee, then she opens her bible to soaks in the word. She places her day in His hands and they’re off to face the world together.

Things are different now that He’s in charge. Sara can rest in the knowledge that the creator of the universe loves her enough to personally greet her each morning. She can trust that He is big enough to handle anything that comes her way. Each day she does just that, placing her trust in Him.


nAncY said...

good story

valerie lynn said...

Hello I have an award for you on my blog. A much deserving award for such a blessing to me as you! It is from my heart to yours!

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks Nancy!

Thanks Valerie!

TawanaB said...

Another great blog and oh so true for many of us. Love the story writing style to get a point across. God bless

Sherri Watt said...

Thanks Tawana! I appreciate the kind words. I write what the Lord puts in me. Isn't He amazing!

God Bless!