Saturday, June 27, 2009

God on the Greenway: Getting Burned

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Have you ever heard that saying? It’s one that I should have remembered when I decided to go for a short run before getting ready for church last Wednesday. I heard that it was an “ozone action day” and that no one should really be out. Though, I figured, what’s the harm in running as long as I don’t run too long and I have water with me? So, I decided I would briefly run around my neighborhood (instead of my beloved Greenway) this time.

Things didn’t go well. I exercised for 35 minutes; half of it was running and the other half was walking. It wasn’t because I was overheated or tired (I actually felt pretty good). It was because I had chosen to wear a pair of shorts that just don’t seem to jive with me. You would think that because it’s Nike, and made for fitness, they would be great. Not so! They are awful! They ride up easily and make it uncomfortable when my fat thighs start rubbing me raw. I KNEW this before I left the house but sometimes, we lie to ourselves. For me, I just wanted a quick run and figured I could tolerate them (or that they really weren’t THAT bad). Unfortunately, they were; and I was forced to walk because of them! Argh!

Aside from that was the fact that I didn’t put sun-block on yesterday when I took the kids to the pool. I had put it on THEM (and a little on my face) but that was pretty much it. My shoulders were red, and they HURT! It’s hard to tolerate anything (even clothing) when you’re sunburned. It’s even worse for us ladies because we have those wonderful bras that we have to wear - oh yes, so comfortable!! Am I right girls?! Again…….ARGH!

The other thing I couldn’t stand was that I was running around town and didn’t have the time to spend on the Greenway. It’s a pain running in the neighborhood because that means uneven and crappy sidewalks (plus traffic). Triple ARGH!

However, all these “arghs” reminded me of something very important. All of these “arghs” are my own fault. If I had managed my time better, hadn’t rushed to find something to wear, and had taken precautions by wearing sun-block, today would have been a better running day. If I had heeded the kind of instructions and guidelines that would have made things more pleasant for me, I wouldn’t have had to go through ANY of that! For starters, I should have remembered that I have MYSELF to care of in ADDITION to taking care of my kids. If I hadn’t neglected my own well-being, I wouldn’t have sunburned shoulders. Putting others before yourself is great, but that doesn’t mean you should totally neglect yourself. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have. If you don’t take care of “you”, how much of “you” will you have to offer to anyone?

The other thing I didn’t listen to was my own self and the fact that I knew better than to wear shorts that aren’t even remotely comfortable. Yet, so often, we lie to ourselves about things. We reason, justify, and rationalize things and think we can get by (but we can’t!). We could save ourselves so much trouble and pain if we just quit lying to ourselves about stuff.

Lastly, the “ozone action day”. When I hear about stuff like that, I think “oh really? Are you going to MAKE ME stay inside?!” Do you feel that way? Do you think, “I’ll be darned if anyone is going to tell me I can’t be outside or do this/that”? I thought about that, and how wrong and prideful that is. Things like “ozone action day” aren’t meant to hinder, but to help you. There are reasons why boundaries, rules, and safety regulations are made. It’s just like how God is with us. People sneer at the Ten Commandments or other things that God says to discipline and protect us. But, when we cross those boundaries, we suddenly realize WHY they are there and that they are for OUR good (and the common good).

I may not have been on the Greenway that day, but I sure did learn a lot. In addition to never wearing those stupid shorts again, I will remember that there are a lot of good reasons to heed rules and warnings (to which my shoulders can testify). I will also remember that I need to take care of myself, and that I do that best when I’m honest with myself. In the midst of it all, I’m so glad that God helps me sort it all out and that He is kind and merciful enough to show me these things that I need to learn!!

Grace and peace to all of you!! Take care of yourself; whether it’s hot or not!! Remember, obedience goes a long way! It’ll save you from getting burned!! God bless you all!!

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