Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The greatest gift we have ever received happens every morning when I open my eyes. As we plant our feet on the ground before us lays a fresh canvas, blank and unpainted upon. There are no errors, no mistakes, no wrong colors, just a canvas waiting for us to paint on it.
Had a bad yesterday, you might say. It matters not. This morning is fresh and new and no matter how hard you try, good or bad, yesterday with its triumphs and its mistakes is gone forever. When my eyes flutter open each morning I am given another chance to be what I was intended to be. I am given a chance to simply cast aside the shackles of years past, shrug my shoulders and take a step into the light. The scary part is that once I embrace this way of thinking, I no longer have any excuses. If each day gives me an opportunity to be better, wiser and stronger, to learn from yesterday what I can, vow not to repeat it and then discard it, I am out of reasons not to grow and be happy.
In my life time I have been given 20,782 opportunities to begin anew, learn from my past mistakes and start over. I wonder sometimes when I took advantage of that opportunity. Mostly, I slide out of bed, complaining and moaning about what “I HAVE to do” today. I complain about the weather, the world and the fact that I don’t believe the Chicago Cubs will never win another world series. I ingest a beverage to jolt me awake and like some sort of drone I fall into place with something called “conventional wisdom.” That’s code for how I got fat. I got fat following what everyone else does, paying attention to rumors and fallacies about life
We fall into step with everyone else because it’s easier. We ARE NOT athletes. We ARE NOT cooks. IT’S EASIER to go to a restaurant after a hard day’s work. I AM OLD. We all have our own built in mechanism to defeat our success. We are comfortable in doing so because when we look to the right and look to the left we see everyone else doing as we are. It provides us with comfort.
Every morning we have a chance to change it. While I can’t repeat yesterday I can build on it and I am fooling myself if I believe I can only build on positive things. I can build on all the negativity I hold on to. If I am not careful, my life begins to spiral downwards.
But there is hope. If you are reading this blog you are part of it. Every day the amazing support mechanism you and I have kicks into gear the moment we boot up our computers. Every day we get a chance to get it right, once again.
Didn’t log your food yesterday ---- Start again today. Forgot about the gym, or maybe you just didn’t feel like it ---- Today gives you the chance to sweat a bit and build on your success. Lost, not sure where you are at in all of this ---- Pick up your copy of The Spark and “get back to the basics.”
All I have to do is get it right once and every day I have an opportunity to do so. Like the man said in the movie:
“Come on in boys, the waters fine!!!”
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
From time to time, it’s a good idea if you heed your own words. A few weeks ago in a blog I said the following, “You deserve only the best and should not only expect it but in most cases demand it.” That resonated with me so well that I posted it on my Spark Page, and then proceeded to let it sit there. For some reason, I looked at it last night before I went to be and to make a short story long, I lie in bed thinking about what I wrote.
Living is an activity. It’s not a thought, an idea or an affirmation. It is an activity. Activity requires that we use energy and the use of energy burns calories and burning calories makes us healthier. When we are healthier we are happier and when we are happier we are more likely to reach out for new goals and activities. Living is an activity.
I talk about what I deserve but how often do I muster up the energy, the faith or the courage to take what is rightfully mine. Most of the time, I sigh, blames it on being fat or something someone said or did to me many years ago, grab my food of choice and listen to the scale creak as I sit in the corner and numb myself into some false state of security. I can blame the fast food industry and technology along with my slow moving metabolism but that fact remains that nothing changes until something changes.
How do I support myself here? Do I seek out people who have a clear vision of what they want in their journey towards health? Do I find active people with positive and healthy hobbies and life activities, or do I sit back in my chair and mutter “Aint it a shame?”
No one owes me anything. That statement is not negotiable. You may counter with the traditional mantra that I am owed the respect every human being deserves and I would respond to you that unless I create an expectation in your mind to give me that respect it is nothing but hollow words.
Life is an activity. Whether it’s pounding down the street, sweat dripping off my brow, lunging forward on the elliptical or pedaling my bike, those calories don’t get burnt by me sitting at home wishing they do so. It may be cranking up the Wii for a round of bowling or tennis or balancing activities. It may be whatever I choose it to be, but please, let it be something.
See, I am way, way too valuable to let myself simply sit in the corner and become as Jesus so aptly put it “A walking grave.” I have a mission to accomplish and that mission starts with me throwing off my old burial shroud, adjusting to the light and moving forward. That’s when I can demand the best for myself, when I am willing to become active and take advantage of everything life has to offer me.
I have been given an opportunity to do great things, but the first step in mine. Do I choose to be an active and equal participant in life or do I choose to be a spectator?
“Expect The Good. Can you get the expectant attitude of faith? Not waiting for the next evil to befall you but awaiting with a child's joyful trust the next good in store?”
That was my meditation for this morning. Short, sweet and to the point and rather than make me feel all warm and fuzzy it stung. In so many respects I am just sitting around waiting for the next thing to happen. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. As long as I am not active, I don’t have to take responsibility for myself and my actions. I can blame it on all of you and the many “you’s” in my life.
Put down the Danish, lace up your shoes, open the front door and whether you run, walk, crawl or move a wheel chair, come out here with me and lets claim what we deserve.
Living is an activity.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Availible on You Tube at:
Friday, July 09, 2010
Every day in every single way, I am getting better and better. Some days I have to look harder than others to find it
Thursday, July 08, 2010
One thing I look forward to when my granddaughter comes to visit is the walks she and I take. Yesterday morning we talked a bit about her starting school next month. She’s worried kids won’t like her because she has red hair. I told her red hair is better than no hair and she giggled, squeezed my hand and we walked on. As we came close to finishing up I asked her if she’d like to play on the playground in the church parking lot across from our house. She looked at me and said we needed to get “all dolled up” if we were going to church. I told her we were just going on the playground to play and in all honesty I don’t think it mattered to God what we were wearing.
She stopped and looked up at me.
“Daddy says there is no God.”
“What do you think?” I asked her.
“I’m not sure.” She said. “Do you believe in God?”
“Yup” I answered
It’s hard to appreciate being five. There is a bit more pressure there than you realize. Dad and mom know everything. Their word is gospel. Both sets of grandparents believe in God. So here you are, this wonderful child and you don’t know what to believe or whom.
As we started to cross the street she tugged on my arm a bit.
“The next time you go see Him, can I come along? After I see Him then I can tell daddy He is real.”
Now I have my head cocked sky ward and I am looking for a real definite bit of divine intervention here. A few angels, maybe a saint or two, something!!!! We cross the street and she swings for a while and starts talking about baking cookies and going swimming. Stuff like that.
We head for home and as we turn into the drive way she looks at me again. “When you talk to God next time, would you ask Him to let me know that He’s there?”
“I can do that,” I say with my voice cracking a bit.
She smiles and says “Good!! “ She runs ahead of me into the back yard.
I am left to ponder what just happened and my mind is blank. I have had many profound moments in my life but none more so than this one. Leave it a five year old to take thousands of years of spiritual history, Biblical studies and Divine inspiration and neatly condense into a simple request. I murmur a quick prayer for Him to watch over her and guide her, knowing it’s already been answered.
I stood looking at nothing and was overwhelmed with how blessed I was to have this moment.
“Just have Him let me know He’s there.”
Yeah, Ava, me to. Me to.
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