Saturday, July 12, 2014

Day 193- A Walking First

I saw a book in the library not long ago and decided to read it. The title intrigued me.  The authors had seemingly done a lot of research into what makes human beings healthy. They mentioned things like diet, exercise, social connections, being in nature, and getting proper sleep. One of the things they wrote that got me to thinking was that we all need variety.  They promoted variety in nutrition and exercise.  So, I took their advice today.  Instead of doing my daily walk that I've been doing for a few weeks, I added some variety to my walk for my "first."

The authors mentioned that exercise should be fun.  I attempted to add variety and fun to my walk.  I don't belong to a gym and live in a pretty rural setting, so man-made variety is not on the menu for me.  They did say that exercise in nature where you can see trees and plants was optimal. I got that one covered and do agree that walking outside is better than inside on a treadmill for my whole state of being.

So, how to vary the walking?  I tried several things.  I walked and added some jogging (for very short distances) to it.  Then, I tried walking and running backwards. In my setting, I found that the backwards thing worked best on pavement (church parking lot) rather than on the grass (too uneven when you can't see where you are going). Skipping was next.  Yes, I did make sure there were no cars driving by when I was skipping.  I even tried bounding like a deer. I am not a very good bounder.  Though, and this is a true story, I did see a deer slip and fall today while bounding. I was driving on a 4 lane highway and saw a deer come running from the other side of the road and he/she (looked like a she) was scared. This deer was getting it across the highway. She made it safely and on the other side was a water drain and then a hill.  She leaped over the water drain and did not realize the steepness of the hill. Her front feet got out from under her and her chin hit the ground. She was up and running pretty quickly due to fear or embarrassment; I'm not sure which one.  While bounding, I made sure to watch the ground so I did not fall down.

The other thing that is unusual about my walk is that I stopped early. I usually don't quit early unless I get injured or it starts raining. It started raining.

A deer, not me

I'll admit that the walk was more fun with the variety added in. If anyone had seen me skipping or running backwards, it probably would have been kind of funny to them. I'm grateful that God is a God of much variety.  Think about all the different colors.  God could have made a black and white world but I'm so glad He didn't.  What about all the different kinds of birds? And food?  Isn't that amazing?  God is so creative that every snowflake and every person is different.  He even made 900 different kinds of crickets.  That's a lot of variety.

This has been a helpful reminder to me.  My relationship with God can become stale (guess whose fault that is?) if there is not variety included.  Sometimes it is healthy to have my alone time with God outside instead of inside at my desk. That is helpful.  There have been times I have added more music to my time with God and really worshipped. Even at church, it's helpful to do things differently.  If you are used to visiting a lot before the service, why not spend that time in prayer at the next worship time?  I've been in some churches where people were praying at the altar before church. That was different for me and I saw the benefit in trying to get right with God before worship.  I have a friend who asks God if there is someone there God wants him to give a hug to that day; that could be pretty cool. One could expand that to simply ask God who He wants them to encourage that day and how.  That's one purpose of worship. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, "Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.  And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near."  Christians often use this verse to say that we should go to church.  It also says that when we go, we should encourage someone.  Maybe instead of asking, "Did you to go to church" we should ask, "Who did you encourage at church?"  If everyone was praying about who to encourage and how, it would probably be a fun worship experience.

Encouraged in the abundant life

3 things I thank God for today
1. God is a friend who sticks closer than a brother
2. Privilege of watching a thunderstorm
3. Seeing a deer slip (pretty funny, the deer probably is not thanking God for that today).  I am not thanking God that she slipped, but since she did, that I got to see it.

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