I’m trying to squeeze as many outdoor bike rides as I can out of this fall. I’ve decided if it’s close to 40 degrees, I’m bundling up and heading out. That was the case today. 39 degrees at the start made for a chilly ride but after a couple of miles my exposed skin stopped hurting and I warmed up a bit (or got numb).
I made my way up to the nature preserve intending to do a loop around it and head home. That loop is one of my favorite places to raise up a few petitions. If I know you and know that you’re struggling in some fashion or need to feel God’s grace, that’s where I lift you up – with the sun sparkling off the water. (There are other places too but that’s a common spot.)
I can’t tell you how often that I’m finishing my prayers and see my friend, the great blue heron rise up out of the water. I feel like it’s a sign from God that he hears me and is giving me a gift. Today I didn’t see the heron at all – not even in the water. Do herons migrate south??
It’s okay, I know my prayers are heard. I pedaled around the final curve, hit the street and made my way back to the trail. There weren’t a lot of people on the trail this morning so it was quiet. As I came up a small rise something caught my eye that hadn’t before. Between the trees there’s a field with two horses. A dappled grey and a chestnut brown. And they had come up right to the fence, maybe 20 feet off the trail. I’d never seen that field or those horses before – maybe the leafy trees covered it and now it’s more noticeable since the leaves are gone? Regardless, it was there and I saw an older man there feeding them apples and petting them on the nose.
It made my heart smile. And then I realized… that was my sign.