Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right. Strike that! When was the last time you had a day when nothing seemed to go right?
Yesterday was one of those days for me. I actually woke up early and was excited to get the day underway. But it went downhill as soon as my feet hit the floor. I’ll spare you the details but it was definitely a “two steps forward, three steps back” kind of day.
I tried taking space. I tried talking with God. (more like grumbling at God) I even downed about 8 oatmeal/butterscotch cookies. Didn’t work, but they were good. And oatmeal is healthy right?!
If I still had hair I would have pulled it out!
So when I got home that evening, Susan and I took a bike ride. That was a big help.
Fresh (though humid) air, the chance to chat with Susan and a beautiful sky as the sun disappeared into the horizon.
No big spiritual insight here, just the observation that sometimes a good physical workout does more to put things in perspective than anything else.
Go ahead. Get active.
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.
“Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.”
~ Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Yesterday I blogged on why it is so critical to guard our hearts, today I want to touch on how we can do that. Taking care of our physical heart requires discipline; habits of exercise and eating right. The same dynamic is true for guarding the heart that King Solomon is referring to here in Proverbs. Here are some suggestions.
The Discipline of Reflection. Like a bad amusement park ride the pace of life just keeps getting faster and faster. Making time to pause periodically and reflect is crucial.
We live in a busy and noisy world that will suck the life out of us if we let it. This is why it is essential that we intentionally pull away to a quiet place, pause, and reflect. If Jesus needed to do this (Mark 1:35), how much more important is it for us?
The Discipline of Rest. It was no accident that God took the seventh day of creation to do nothing with Adam and Eve. Reread the 10 commandments and notice which one gets the most attention. (Hint: Remembering the Sabbath – Exodus 20)
We were designed by our Creator to need rest. Eight hours of sleep. One day every seven to relax. Don’t skip vacation time! Without rest our judgment gets blurry and the heart is more vulnerable to attack. Make rest a priority and write it in on your calendar.
The Discipline of Recreation. There is a difference between amusement and recreation. There is nothing wrong with amusement but it can leave us more tired than before we started. Recreation, on the other hand, are those activities that recharge us.
Reading a good book. Creating something with wood or crafts or even baking. Playing an instrument simply to enjoy it. Spend time working on that project that’s been waiting all this time. It will be different for everyone but the common thread is that the activity refreshes our soul.
The Discipline of Relationships. We are wired by a relational God to be in relationship with Him and others. Our level of involvement with others will vary depending on our personality but we need others with which to share the journey.
Make time to deepen important relationships and do all that you can to keep them healthy. They do more to strengthen our heart than we realize. And our most important relationship with the one we pursue with God!
These disciplines will help guard our heart and our heart will direct the course of our journey in life!
Kyrsten, Mykaela and I just got back from five days of rock climbing, rappelling, caving, hiking and whitewater rafting in OH and WV. It was our second year to participate in the trip and it was awesome in many, many ways!
A favorite part for Kyrsten and I is always the whitewater rafting on the New River Gorge River near Beckly, WV. It takes about 4 hours to complete and involves several Class 5 rapids.
If you’re paying attention you will have noticed that Mykaela was not mentioned in the previous paragraph. That’s because of all the activities that we squeeze into the five days, rafting is her least favorite.
But guess what Mykaela’s favorite part was this year?
What made the difference? The guide Tony, or Bunny as we affectionately nicknamed him. Last year’s guide tended to be rather quiet unless she was chatting with the other guides. She was good at navigating the river but was not very engaging.
But Bunny was a riot! He joked and kidded with us the whole time; which helped Mykaela relax and enjoy the journey. In his own unique way, Tony was a great encouragement. And isn’t that what we’re suppose to be doing for one another?!
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Even the challenging parts of life can be enjoyable. Are we encouraging one another?
Have you heard about the Zapp family? They have spent more than a decade traveling the world in a 1928 Graham Paige that doesn’t go over 40 miles per hour! Along the way they have eaten exotic foods, made many new friends and had four children!
Herman and Candelaria got restless and started on a trip from South America to Alaska which has turned into excursions to two dozen countries and involved more than 145,000 miles. When they started they had no children but now have four that range in age from 1 to 8. Can you imagine being one of those kids and not ever knowing what it’s like to live in a house?
Their antique car serves as a moving school for the kids as well as camper for the whole family. They fund their travels by selling art and a book about the early days of their adventure; along with some generosity from strangers along the way.
If your reaction is anything like mine you have already reread this to make sure you didn’t misunderstand something and you are somewhere between “stunned” and “disbelief.” But when you think about it, we’re all on a road trip of sorts. Nothing in this life is permanent. God breathed into existence all that we know as reality and one day He will remake it new.
“I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.” ~ Revelation 21:2-3
Our homes might feel a bit more permanent than traveling around in an old car, but in truth we’re all just passing through. So enjoy the journey and be prepared for the final destination!