I went for a run this morning after a rainstorm blew through here last night. I got my Garmin on and figured out how to start it. I got the iPod going after some help from Alex and out the door I went. I run down by this area of the neighborhood that is all field, and it's pretty close to the railroad tracks. It's usually quiet back there except for a train that might come barreling by. I rounded one of the corners and was almost knocked down by the smell of honeysuckle. Oh my, was it lovely, and after a rain and before the sun comes out, it seems to be even more intense. I started thinking that maybe this was the last time for me to run in Wilmore before we leave, and the smell of honeysuckle would be something that reminds me of this place.
Then I stared thinking about beginnings and endings. You know, you have to finish well or you won't start well. Think about that for a minute with me. If you are running a race and you don't finish well or at all, doesn't that affect the way you run the next race? Wouldn't the fear of not finishing the next one you started keep you from starting at all?
So this is my thought: On the other side of beginnings are endings. Endings teach us how to begin. Beginnings are great but so are endings. It's great to start a book, buy school supplies for the start of a new year, hear a newborn cry, start a new job. Ending well can have a purifying effect on us. We stop and look as the dust settles at what really went on. Endings strip us down to our core, if we let them.
So as I ran in the predawn of the morning, I was thinking about our ending time here and wondering if we have finished well. I feel like we have but don't think I will know for sure until we pull out of town and I say, "Goodbye, Wilmore. It was fun. Thanks for the memories." Just like I did when I left Durango. That was how I knew I could start well when we got here three and half years ago—because we ended well in Durango.
Jacob, after wrestling with an angel, awoke and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it."