“Oh God, have mercy!”

Let My Laughter Resound!


“OH GOD, HAVE MERCY!”

I have been a consistent ‘jogger’ throughout most of my long life. I participated in track in my junior high and in my high school and during my college years. During the many years (nearly 50 years) that I have lived in Fort Collins, ‘jogging’ has been my ‘constant companion’.

I have jogged literally thousands of miles, during my teen years and my young adult life and during the last several decades of my senior adulthood. I did competitive running for many years, but since my last competitive race when I was 56 years old, I have merely jogged for the enjoyment of it (and, of course, for health reasons). Jogging makes me feel better, I believe I think better, and I maintain continuing fellowship with my Creator when I am running.

While I am jogging, I often breathe a few prayers to the Lord of Life. I spend some time, of course, simply meditating upon life and upon life’s plans. Jogging provides a time for me to lift my heart in praise to the One who made all good things. Jogging time has also been, for me, a time to allow the Spirit to communicate to me – plans to follow, people to pray for, corrections that I need to make in my life (attitudes), and confessions of sins that I need to make to the Savior.

I have been told that, while jogging, the heart muscle is expanded and the lungs are purified, and the general tone of the body is increased. A chemical that is released from the brain (what is it’s name?) tends to give the jogger a general sense of ‘well-being’! Well, I am a human being that needs all the ‘help’ (mentally and physically and psychologically) I can get.

I love to jog through the magnificent park which is located near to our home. I spent countless mornings in that park, jogging on the winding trail, surrounded by large overhanging tress and small bushes. Jogging that particular trail is like going through a ‘wonderland’ of various kinds of trees, lush under growths, and scampering creatures, with the chirping and colorful birds flying above, to provide the morning music!

There is nothing so refreshing as being in God’s great out-of-doors in the early morning! The air is so clean and crisp, the moving shadows cast by the tall trees reflect the sunlight in ever changing moods – these changing shadows add to the mystical feeling of the early morning!

As is true of most joggers (runners), I occasionally have to ‘clear my throat’ of any extra saliva (mucous) that tends to ‘build up’ as a result of ‘pushing my body’ to run faster and faster. ‘Clearing the throat’ is nature’s way of making sure that the air passage to the lungs is open, in order to continue to breath correctly. Jogging (running) involves the proper movement of the muscles and the joints. Of course, jogging involves the proper functioning of all the ‘breathing apparatus’ of the human body.

I say all of the above (obvious facts about the human body) to say that it has never been unusual for me to ‘clear my throat’ when I am running. And, while I am concentrating on intense running, I sometimes ‘clear my throat’ rather loudly. I need to, for I must clear my air passage. Otherwise, I could not continue to run!

On the trail, I often come up behind a jogger, and, obviously, I pass some joggers who are enjoying a slower pace. Of course, the opposite is also true: there are many joggers who are more ‘fit’ or who are considerably younger than I am. In those ‘cases’, I am the one who is often ‘left in the dust’, as I watch these faster joggers ‘take off ahead of me’!

On one particular morning – what I considered to be a normal morning – I was jogging at a regular pace. While I was jogging, I was greatly enjoying the sights and the smells of the early morning atmosphere. I noticed a jogger – a young lady whose jogging pace was rather slow – and, of course, because I had a much faster pace, I came up behind her rather quickly. As I mentioned previously, when I am running rather fast, I often need to ‘clear my throat’ and to ‘remove extra saliva’ from my mouth!

The timing for this young lady was not very good! Just as I approached her (from her back side), I very loudly ‘cleared my throat’! My noise – very loud noise – which she heard, but from a ‘source’ she did not know – this ‘frightened’ her – actually ‘terrified’ her!

Without looking over her shoulder to discern the source of the ‘angry sound’, this lady jogger left her course on the trail altogether. She left the trail, and she went into the brush beside the trail. And as she quickly moved off the trail, she stopped everything, and she cried out: “O GOD, HAVE MERCY!”

If it is possible to experience two opposite emotions, at the same time, then I must admit that I had two different emotions that were co-existing in me, when this lady made her exclamation on that morning. On one hand, of course, I felt bad that I had unintentionally frightened this woman so badly (with the sound I made by clearing my throat) that she left her course on the trail. When I passed this lady, I expressed my sadness to her, and I simply said (as I passed her on the trail) – ‘I am sorry!’

As I proceeded with my jogging, I chuckled. How could my ‘clearing of the throat’ cause this precious lady that amount of surprise and distress? As I reflected back on that ‘strange incident’, I began to wonder why the noise that I made, caused her such distress. Did she think I was a ‘kidnapper’? Another ‘theory’ popped into my head!

Maybe she thought that a ‘bear’ was chasing her! Why do I think that this might he a possible ‘reason’? Sighting bears is a rarity, anywhere, but, a smaller bear was actually spotted in the top of a tree, not far from where this incident took place! Maybe she thought I and the ‘gross sounds’ I uttered was the presence of a bear!


“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!

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