Thursday, September 8, 2011

Exercise and Lessons Too!

For years exercise and I have had a love/hate relationship.  Mostly hate, to be honest.
I only would do it because it was good for me, not because I found it enjoyable in the least.
A few people I know actually enjoy torturing themselves and hate to miss an opportunity to exercise.
I always thought that very strange....

I never enjoyed gym class.  I was too gangly and clumsy. 
My peers made sure I was aware of these facts.
The whole experience set the stage for my attitude of avoidance when it came to anything deemed "exercise."

Gym memberships have dotted the landscape of my life.  It was endurable because I would meet friends at the gym and we would encourage one another to press on.
One-by-one we dropped off the gym's radar.

Something has happened over this past year.  I exercise Monday through Friday for forty-five to sixty minutes each time.
The exercise of choice, for the most part, is brisk walking.
I try not to miss a day.

What happened?
Mindy moved in one year ago and a treadmill came with her. 
I started to use it now and then.  Eventually it became a habit!

When the weather is not too hot nor too cold, but just right :) I have taken to walking outside.

Whether inside or outside I cover about three and a half miles in an hour.
It works for me.
I have realized that I have more energy!
I have also realized that it helps me to ward off what age is trying to do to my body!  Well, to some degree!

Today turned into a beautiful day so I took to the street.

After about  two blocks my route takes me off the main road and through farm land.
Once on that country road I will either take a left or right at its end.  As I walked along (briskly, of course!), I was talking with Papa and wondering which way I should take once I reached the intersection.
To the left takes you through a farm.  It populates both sides of the country road.  The farm spills out from there to encompass quite a bit of acreage, ending half way down the road that I was on at the moment.  Half way down said road I came upon a scene that held a couple of lessons for me.

A black and white cow was curled up on the side of the road with its nose pressed up against the wire fence that was suppose to have kept it in the field.  On the other side, the whole herd of its fellow cows were bunched up with their noses on that same fence or on one another, but all facing toward the lone stray.

Different cows took turns lowing their concern.  It was as if they were saying that they were there for her and would not be moving until help arrived!

The thought came to me that we should be like those cows.  When one of us strays or runs into trouble, we should all gather around to encourage and support our fellow person.
That is how Papa designed His church to be.
In actuality it is kind of hit or miss.

Over the past nineteen months many kindnesses have been shown me and my family. 
There have been many blessings.
The thing is that on occasion there have been times where one or all of us have really needed somebody with skin on to stick close by.  Those times could be lonely.

I was thinking about all of this when Papa reminded me of a story found in scripture.  It is located in the Old Testament book of Second Kings, the sixth chapter.
The prophet Elisha's enemy, the king of Aram had his army surround Elisha's city of Dothan for the purpose of capturing Elisha.
His servant is beside himself and cries out to his master that they are outnumbered. 
I love Elisha's response.
"Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them."
With that Elisha asked the LORD to open his servant's eyes.
What did he see?  That the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around them!

When I am feeling abandoned by man Papa always opens my eyes to see the true reality.  I am never alone!

This world we live in is not all there is.  Surrounding us is a spiritual world.  I believe it is more real than what we see!

From now on when I am feeling alone I will remember the scene of the black and white cow and her friends....

Further down my path and a few turns later I was coming up on another fenced area.  This time it was inhabited by horses.
I wished I had a few apples or carrots to treat the horses.
No sooner did that thought cross my mind then I saw a sign nailed on the side of the fence in a most prominent place.  It read,
"Oh," I thought, "it is just as well that I didn't have any goodies to share!" 
The sign made sense.  After all the owner of the horses knew what was the best diet for them and random strangers, meaning well, could mess with that healthy, balanced diet.
His staff also knows what is best, but only because the owner has instructed them accordingly.

For some reason the sign brought to mind the story of Jesus on the beach having a conversation with Peter.  He told Peter to:
"Feed My sheep." 
Our Creator, of course, knows what is best for us.  He, too, has instructed others as to what we need to be fed.
I can see Papa putting up a sign over His children warding off those who would feed them junk.
He, after all, is more concerned for us than any owner of a horse ever could be!

My I am realizing just how profitable a little exercise can be!

By the way, I took the left turn and stopped by the farm to let them know they had an errant cow.  They appreciated the information and headed out to the rescue!

Ah, do I see another spiritual lesson there??

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