My mom and several other ladies from her park in Florida walk every morning. At 7am, they convene at the gazebo and walk the asphalt figure eight, chatting and laughing, occasionally stopping to pet a dog or admire someone’s landscaping.
They walk in the cold. In the heat and in the humidity. (Wow, do they keep it moist in Florida!) This week, thanks to Daylight Savings Time, they walked in the dark, carrying flashlights and illuminating the steps of their bright white sneakers.
I walk along, but I can’t keep up. They go miles. I go a mile. Then I have to turn off and watch a pack of 80 year old behinds disappear around the next curve.
Use it or lose it.
I will never be an Olympian, but I can do a better job of maintaining the temple God has given me. Staying in shape at any age is important to our physical health. It’s not always convenient or easy, but it is necessary. Otherwise, you’ll be panting and exhausted, being lapped by women decades your senior like I was. It’s humbling.
We can get left behind in relationships if we’re not intentional, too. Indifference toward friends, taking spouses for granted, and ignoring our parents because we’re too busy or too self-absorbed is a surefire way to disintegrate relationships. When offenses go unresolved, apologies are withheld, and phone calls don’t get made, intimacy dissolves.
How can you be intentional to connect with someone who’s fallen off your radar? Maybe you could send a text, make a call, or drop a card in the mail. If the person lives with you, be purposeful to listen well, offer a meaningful touch, give a heartfelt compliment or invite them into an activity you both enjoy.
Are you ignoring God?
The people I love the most are the ones I often take for granted. I trust them for the grace to make up for my lack of connection (if and) when I get around to making time for them. This is especially true in my relationship with God.
There have been seasons of silence when I thought I could manage life on my own without consulting the Lord. Long stretches of prayerlessness when I’d made mistakes I did not want to admit or address. Times when my Bible collected dust because life was busy and I told myself I didn’t have time to read. Weeks and weeks of empty pages in my journaling devotional when I just didn’t feel like doing the entries.
Even though I’d wasted my time, passed on his guidance, and operated independently of his purposes, God has welcomed me back every time, just like the father in Luke 15 embraced his prodigal son.
How you do anything is how you do everything.
When I get sloppy in one area, I’m likely to get sloppy in others. You, too? Let’s resolve to do better with the time and talent God has given us. Hit the reset button and make a choice to intentionally take care of ourselves, intentionally invest in people we love and intentionally make time for the Lord.
Are you up for a use it or lose it challenge?
What is one thing you can start or restart to improve yourself, your relationships or your connection with God?
Verse for the day: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
Prayer: Oh God, I want to do better, but I get lazy and complacent and settle for much less than you have for me. Wake me up, shake me up, and lead me to become more like you in my thinking and doing. I ask this in the name of Jesus, amen.