Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Time to Get Healthy

How many of us look at where we are in our lives at this present time and wonder just how we arrived at where we are today? Do we blame it all on aging or do we realize just what has been going wrong but lack the discipline it takes to regain what we've lost. Or do we simply grow lazy and give up?

Every year millions of people spend thousands of dollars nurturing their bodies, exercising their muscles, supplementing their diets with vitamins and wonder drugs. Millions more people spend even more money exercising their minds by attending school in one form or another. Yet how many of those spent a fraction of that time or money on exercising their souls everyday?

Certainly, some people do - the whole New Age mind, body, spirit industry wouldn't exist if some people weren't out there doing their yoga and meditating. But many Catholics and Christians, even the church going ones, are still catching up to the idea that prayer and meditation should be - and need to be daily activity.

Most doctors recommend that you work out at least three days a week. Most students attend class at least five days a week. Yet many of us may attend a religious service once a week and think, Well, that's done. But that's not enough. Your cardiologist wouldn't say, "Hey Kat, look, I want you to run for forty-five minutes on Sunday and then take the rest of the week off," would he?

Let's see it another way in this story:

The old man said this to the boy:

"Imagine for a moment that you are a newly created ship that is being unveiled to the world for the very first time. There is a lot of pomp and circumstance. There are celebrations. There is fanfare. Soon, someone comes along and whacks a champagne bottle against your forehead and you slowly descend into the water. You have been christened and you set off on the voyage of life.

Now, you have good days and bad days. Some days are calm, other rage with storms. You are a solid ship - built with good materials and thoughtfully planned out - and you endure the placid seas as well as the thirty-foot swells.

You are out on the ocean of life for years and overall you feel strong, but time has done what time does. It's aged you. You're weathered. The sun has helped to fade some of your luster. The salts of the sea have scratched you deeply and penetrated your surface. Many have walked across your decks - some with soft shoes, others with ten-pound clogs. You feel tired. Sometimes you even feel that a pieced of you has died. When you feel this way it is time to make a journey back to dry dock, to the place where you were made, so that you can be restored.

As you move into place and the water is drained all around you, it becomes obvious that your hull - your foundation - is covered in a thick layer of barnacles. Parasites. Your surface may have been worn down by exposure, but your base has been made inefficient by neglect. Looking at what was once your great hull, it is almost impossible to discern that you are a great and powerful ship. These hangers-on have slowed you down. In some ways that have proeteced you, by covering up tiny holes that may have caused you to sink, but there are not part of who you are and if left unattended will cause more damage. These barnacles, these leeches, have slowed you on your journeys.

The barnacles are scraped from your hull. The process is slow at first, slow and tedious. And painful. In time, you feel a great weight lifted from you, rejuvenated, full of life, and you are ready to set sail on your next great voyage.

It's like being born, but being born strong and powerful, said the old man.

Is this why you are always praying to God? asked the boy.

Yes, said the old man. So I can be scraped clean.

Did you know that there are 1,440 minutes in a day? Did you also know that 1 percent of all that time is fourteen minutes and twenty-four seconds? What would happen if you made a conscious decision, every day, to exercise your soul by giving roughly fifteen minutes of your time over to God? Just 1 tiny percent of your life. Would your life change?

Mine did.


SusanD said...

That could result in such powerful and unexpected changes. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

Elle Bee said...

When you break it down like that it makes me wonder why I don't spend even more time in a day with God!

Mari said...

Wow - that's a really powerful post, and thought provoking too. I don't think 1% is too much to ask, and actually it should be more.

Goose Hill Farm said...

WOW! That was powerful! I really do need to spend more time with my Precious Father each day!

Blessings, sweet Kat~

David C Brown said...

The Lord has graciously promised to be with us all of the time; but we need,as you say, to spending the time with Him.

KrippledWarrior said...

excellent use of metaphors. Did you ever work in a shipyard?

Marydon said...

Kat ~ This is a fabulous write. TYSM.
Have a lovely summer's eve ~
TTFN ~ Marydon

Denise said...

Fantastic post sis, love you.

Rita said...

Wow, what a change in our lives there would be! He brings us through all the storms and gives us the peaceful times as well. Thank you Lord! And thank you for this great post to remind us.