Saturday, January 18, 2014

Running for Meg

In Lynchburg, across the country and around the world, runners gathered on Saturday morning, January 18, 2014 to pay tribute to Meg Cross Menzies.

Most of those running or walking #megsmiles in memory of Meg have never met her, but her story could be the story of any runner anywhere.

Runners love early morning runs. Most of us have busy lives and a run starts the day off right. Meg died on her last morning run, with her loving husband at her side.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the music on the radio on this cold, blustery Saturday morning reflected Meg's life. When I got into my car, "Let All Things Now Living" was playing.
Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
To God the creator triumphantly raise.
Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,
Who still guides us on to the end of our days.
God's banners are o'er us, His light goes before us,
A pillar of fire shining forth in the night.
Till shadows have vanished and darkness is banished
As forward we travel from light into light.

His law he enforces, the stars in their courses
And sun in its orbit obediently shine;
The hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains,
The deeps of the ocean proclaim him divine.
We too should be voicing our love and rejoicing;
With glad adoration a Song let us raise
Till all things now living unite in thanksgiving:
"To God in the highest, Hosanna and praise!"

For Meg lived her life as God chose, following His word, praising His name, worshipping Him and raising her children to know and love Him.

Our group of runners and walkers numbered just under 50 people, including a baby riding in a stroller and a baby riding inside a mom-to-be.

We were all drawn to the story of the young mom who put her kids on the bus and took off with her husband on an early morning training run on Monday, January 13.

Meg had no way to know the run would be her last as she was called to her eternal home after being struck by a car.

But God knew. God's timeline doesn't always match our desires. Although Meg's family and friends wanted her to stay, God called her home.

Most of our group were runners, members of the Lynchburg Road Runners Club. A few of us were walkers for one reason or another. All of us gave at least two miles to #megsmiles on a Saturday morning when it would have been easy to stay inside where it was warm. Why? Because we were called - called to run or walk, called to share Meg's story, called to be part of God's bigger plan.

When I got into my car after walking two miles, "Faithful to Me" was on the radio.
You have told me, Lord what pleases You
To act justly and love mercy and walk humbly too
I'm reminded of the things
You've always said were in Your heart
I know that I have yet to go that far
I want to live my life in glory to You, Lord
That each and every day I'll love You more
I pray I'll die for You, the one that I adore
That someday I may hear the words I hold so dear
"Well done, my child, you have believed
You have been faithful to me"
There are words of truth You long to say
There is healing that may never come unless I pray
There are works of love and courage
That Lord only You can do
I'm willing, oh I yearn to be like You 
I want to live my life in glory to You, Lord
That each and every day I'll love You more
I pray I'll die for You, the One that I adore
That someday I may hear the words I hold so dear
"Well done, my child, you have believed
You have been faithful to me" 
I know that one day I will look at You
And I long to see the pleasure in Your eyes
I pray I'll die for You the one that I adore
That someday I may hear the words I hold so dear
"Well done, my child, you have believed
You have been faithful to me"
You have been faithful to me" 
Rest in peace, Meg Cross Menzies. You have been a good and faithful servant to your God, your family and your friends.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Winter Arrives in Lynchburg

The pace of life in Lynchburg slows down in the winter.

Outdoor activities are fewer as many families move indoors for the winter.

Gone are the busy days of December, filled with shopping, baking, parties and all sorts of holiday activities.

High school football and fall baseball are over for the season, replaced by basketball, wrestling and theater.

The local hiking and biking trails have emptied of all but the most diehard runners and cyclists.

The baked treats of the holidays mean the local fitness centers and gyms are filled with people of all ages, hoping to get in shape before summer arrives.

The trees have lost their leaves and the cold winds of winter are blowing.

Winter looms ahead with its short days and long, cold nights.

Unlike some colder climates, winter isn't filled with ice and snow in Lynchburg.

Although there will be some snow, sleet and ice before winter ends, most winter weather events don't last for too long.

Area schools may be delayed for an hour or two and there may even be a few snow days.

On some snowy days, the roads are warm enough that snow sticks only to the ground and trees, leaving the sidewalks and roads clear.

Families enjoy board games and Friday night pizza during winter around here.

Couples enjoy movies at home instead of busy evenings on the town.

Younger kids have moved indoors too, spending fun-filled days at Kids Cove or Amazement Square instead of playing in the backyard.

Winter in Lynchburg is a welcome change from life in the fast lane. Winter reminds us that life in the slow lane is okay too.

But, winter won't be quite as we generally experience it in over the next few days in Lynchburg.

A weather event known as a polar vortex is heading to the East Coast.

Temperatures will drop from just above freezing on Sunday night down into the 20s during the day on Monday.

Overnight lows on Monday will be in the single digits. It won't get much warmer on Tuesday.

Tuesday's high temperature will be around 20 degrees with an overnight low in the single digits again.

The wind chill index is predicted to be at 25-35 degrees below zero for both days. Dangerously cold is how the coming weather is described in the news.

Stay indoors if you can. If you have to go out, dress in layers and bundle up. Exposed skin can freeze in minutes when it's this cold.

Bring in the pets, crank up the heat and check on your elderly neighbors.

The grocery stores have been packed with people all weekend. Hopefully you were there stocking up on everything you need.

Wait for another day for the walk on the trails or day at the park. Better safe than sorry.

Soon enough, warmer weather will return to Lynchburg.

Every year, January offers a few sunny days with temperatures in the 50s and 60s.

Plan ahead for those spring-like days and take advantage of them.

But for now, bundle up and get ready. Winter is on the way to Central Virginia. Are you ready?