Monday, September 12, 2016

Living Life More Abundantly

So, Friday's challenge was so FUN I decided to go for a repeat on Saturday with some modifications. It began with the stairs, but rather than 20, I thought 30 sounded even better. But for some reason, I had the image of Dawn in PT therapy rolling across the floor in her seat while holding dumbbells. That gave me a crazy idea... I grabbed a pair of 7 1/2 lb dumbbells and carried them up and down the stairs with me for the last 7 reps! As if that weren't enough, I decided to pay a visit to Jacob and let him know his days of running roughshod in the neighborhood are over. I have had enough of his bully tactics, so invested a good 5 minutes giving him a piece of my mind. I must have been so engrossed in the interaction that I didn't notice the rain shower, because when we were finished, I was totally soaked! Then it was on to the stair mill for a few minutes until Mark appeared from Ceci's class and I checked the time. How was it even possible that an hour had passed by already I wondered.

After all the excitement at the gym, I went home to help with our garage sale, and after talking with a number of folks from the "hood" and praying with a woman with severe back pain, I decided I was ready for a nap more than getting on to a 3 mile walk/jog ("jalks"), so I skipped it with the full intention of making it up Sunday morning.

That brings us to yesterday when I followed through on my plan and headed to Summit Middle School's track, which is very near our house. I like to do my "jalks" there because the surface is flat and a little bit spongy, not too mention I don't have to burn my gas to drive to Brotherhood's path. After stretching and tuning into the Limitations radio channel on Apple Music, I started right out with a slow jog and I quickly made up my mind I was going to go farther than I had to date in the program. Thus far, 1/4 mile has been about my max while jogging, so today I was hoping to make it at least 1/2 a mile.

Well... by the time I was done, I had jogged a full 2 miles without stopping (not even for a drink - which I had forgotten at home). But that wasn't all. As I rounded the last corner of lap 8, I decided to go all out for the last 50 or so yards to cross the finish strong. It was pretty amazing that I didn't fall, because my feet were scraping the ground by that point. I walked lap 9, but by the end of that lap, I noticed I had caught my breath and the soreness in my legs simmered had down a bit, so with another burst of what must have been adrenaline, I began to jog again, this time another 2 laps (1/2 mile) and again with a 50+ yard sprint at the end - which was prettier than the first one, by the way. Then I wrapped up with one final lap of walking to complete the 3 mile assignment.

During the whole process, it was interesting because I kept hearing voices in my earbuds encouraging me the entire way, and the more I focused on that and gave thanks to God for the supernatural endurance I was witnessed, my excitement level was constantly high. I also noticed my focus shifting from just a few feet in front of me to down the track on long stretches, to across the street and into the distance during other parts of the jog. It was as if God was trying to show me the importance of adjusting our focus depending on the situation we find ourselves in. And it reminded me of something I posted on Facebook a year ago - apparently exactly a year ago, because it showed up as a Facebook "memory" this morning.

Read this slowly and soak in the power of the truth:
Trials produce patience... 
Patience produces character...
Character produces hope.

Don't let yourself get caught up praying to be rescued from your trials, but thank God who is with you IN those trials to help you endure until the end!

No, go back and read that again. And again. And again.
The more you understand that you were born to be a son or daughter of God, the easier it is to make it through the trials because your first response in a crisis will be,
"Thank you Father for being here with me!"

We should never let the trials of life speak to us louder than the truth of the Gospel that makes us free from us and the issues of life. We must come to understand who we are if we are going to run our race and endure.

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