Before anyone gets all “copyright lawyer” on me, I will admit the obvious: I’m “using/borrowing/adapting” Adele’s song title for my own use and express benefit.
I was going to say, “So sue me,” but actually, no. Please don’t. I just spent the $78 I made at my garage sale and don’t have a penny for legal fees. I hear bake sales are profitable, but when you factor in all these new nut allergies and everyone wanting gluten-free products, it pretty much leaves me with a pile of scrambled eggs and a bowl of canned mandarin oranges. Something tells me they might not be hot sellers.
If you’ve ever heard Adele elaborate on this song or if you’ve cracked into the world of urban dictionary [.com], you know that to chase pavements is to beat at the wind. To chase something elusive and perhaps non-existent. To continue down a proverbial dead-end road. You get the idea.
I’ve been chasing after something that has seemed impossible for years. It’s actually not even a personal “thing” in my own life, for my own body/self/person, or even in my own family. I’ve been begging with God, praying, pleading on behalf of someone else and that person’s needs. Have you ever been there? Have you ever done that? Desperately emptying yourself, draining all your tears, wringing out your heart, only to leave the Cross feeling like you’re chasing pavements? That your holy and righteous and God-honoring prayer might not be answered in the way that seems to make sense?
When I run, this is part of the path that leads me to and from my home. Over the past year I’ve passed this spot more times than I can count–and before I started running, hundreds of times with my trusty dog. Sometimes familiarity like this can breed a certain level of blindness. It becomes second nature to ignore one’s surroundings while the backdrop of your life passes by in similar color and texture.
But this spring I was nearly stopped in my tracks by this lovely burst of green, this determined patch of life that erupted from the concrete crust around it. And all at once, I could sense the Lord speaking to my heart, that the “pavements” person in my life could be like this mysterious and tenacious grass. That this person could possibly make it. Could overcome the odds. Could turn it around. Could push through the hard and the cold that seems to weigh down the spirit. Could experience life in a new way. Could really live!
Boy, God. Do I believe that? Do I have enough faith?
So each time my feet slap the earth, I repeat the same name in my head. I say it. And say it. And say it.
Tears come, and I say it.
Joy and sorrow flood me.
Am I chasing pavements? Sometimes it feels like it. The road stretches out long and arduous in either direction of that small island of life in the picture. And likewise, the answer I long for still seems far off.
But I’m starting to see the spark of something. And I’m still willing to chase. To believe. To hope.
Because I know that someday that pavement will turn into streets of gold, and I’m desperate to share the road.