When I consider the works of your hands.

This weekend was our confirmation retreat. We brought nearly 40 middle school students up to Lutherdale Bible Camp in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. It is a beautiful camp that is situated on a lake, and the camp property is flanked by winding roads and quiet, peaceful neighborhoods of lake houses.

I went running this morning, not quite sure where I was headed. I turned on some pretty choral music - Psalm settings, to be exact - put my headphones on, went out the back gate of camp toward the road, and found out that I had accidentally picked the hilliest running route ever. But I pressed onward, admiring the sleepy lake houses as I ran by them. The road was quiet, without any traffic, and despite being surrounded by houses and the lake, I felt as if I were the only person alive. As I continued to catch glimpses of the lake and the slow sunrise, a setting of Psalm 8 started playing:
O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Sovereign,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
I ran the winding road all the way to a bridge, where suddenly, there was lake on both sides of me, reflecting the sunrise. The music on my ipod shifted over to Psalm 23, and as I ran over the bridge, surrounded by motionless morning water, my ears were filled with the words "The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake."

Across the bridge was a small island of more quiet houses. I ran until the road ended in a cul-de-sac, turned around, and headed back over the bridge and through the hills toward camp, grateful for the beauty of creation, grateful for a body that can go for a jog, even if it is a slow and awkward one, and grateful for the capacity to notice and appreciate the world around me.

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