running out

I know full well that prayer does not work on a slot machine basis. Stick the proper formula of words in the slot and ding! – out comes a neat, happy answer. But sometimes God does provide one of those quick, decisive answers that are a clear reminder prayer is far more than a healthy exercise to calm oneself and clear one’s mind.

Georgia spring doesn’t bother to stick around too long. Yesterday late afternoon, it hit the mid-80s, high humidity, sweltering sun. I was due for a run and decided to get it over with early, despite the heat. I mean…this is mid-MAY. Nina loves a good run (she would run me if I allowed it), and I’ve always taken her along on anything 5 miles and under. “Always” being since we got her last fall, after the worst of the Georgia summer heat. We got a few miles in, and she started panting pretty heavily. When I realized she was truly distressed, I dropped it to a walk, but she began dragging quickly. I had no cell phone, no water, and the park fountain wasn’t turned on yet. We were still almost two miles from home when she stopped and collapsed full length in the grass, exhausted and dehydrated. I suppose the black fur turns her into a regular thermal absorption device.

That was when I started praying, out loud, right there on the side of the road. And within two minutes, an old Buick with a white-haired gentleman and his elderly golden retriever drove past. Both smiled and waved (really, the dog did). I flagged them down and asked whether he had water or a cell phone. He didn’t, but he immediately offered a ride home. I drug Nina into the back seat and they drove us straight to our front door. I never did get the gentleman’s name, but the golden was Lionel. He kept trying to drive. I think he was attempting to impress Nina.

At any rate, Nina inhaled several bowls of water and and flopped down for a good, long nap. I was the one who nearly fell apart after it was over.

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