A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

February 6, 2012

A New Appreciation

     I'm going to admit that exercise is not my favorite activity of the day.  It's something about which I can procrastinate endlessly.  When I lived in a huge metropolis, it was easier to make it a part of my day; just an extension of my daily schedule --- go straight to Jazzercise from work; don't look right or left, just put it on auto-pilot and it's done.
     When we made the move to a rural setting, there were no cool, fashionable gyms to go to.  If I was going to move it, I would have to find a way to motivate myself.  DVD's worked for awhile, and lately installing an elliptical machine in my loft, accompanied by my iPod blasting music from my favorites did the job.  I've since moved on to adding a tray for my laptop so I can watch movies or TV.
     But I've always known that the best exercise for me was to just get out on the land and walk.  We have 250 acres that surround our home-place, complete with longhorn cattle, lush landscape and a serenity that can't be found inside four walls.
     So, when I invited my husband to join me on a walk and enjoy an unusually warm winter day, I was thrilled that he took some time away from the studio to experience nature with me.  Little did I know that he had a different experience in mind!
     After I changed into suitable walking shoes, I found him waiting for me outside with my Go Bag in hand.  "Why do you have that?" I innocently (and apprehensively) asked.  "We're going to make this into a training exercise," he proudly announced.  I tried a couple of evasive arguments and then realized that I had started this ball rolling, and there was no way to go but forward.
     Crossing a barbed-wire fence with a 35-pound ruck sack on your back is no easy feat.  "Bend, bend!". he challenged.  We trudged up a small rise, dodging cow patties and uprooted ground from an invasion of wild hogs.  I moaned and groaned about the pack hitting me in the small of my back --- my water bottle rubbing through my back pocket --- that this wasn't what I had in mind for our "nature walk".  Then he stopped me dead in my tracks.
     "Now do you have a new appreciation of what our soldiers carry every day, all day, as they fight to keep us free?"
     Suddenly, I stood a little taller, my chin lifted, and my steps a little prouder.  Who was I to belly-ache and complain about a little discomfort or inconvenience when I live in the greatest country in the world?  The very fact that I can walk freely across 250 acres of open country, any time I want, without fear of being questioned or detained, has been guaranteed for me by thousands of young men and women throughout the history of this country, who were willing to step up in my place.
     And if the time comes that I have to actually use this Go Bag to survive, then I owe it to them to work hard, get in shape and be able to carry my load with pride and stamina.  A new appreciation?  To say the least, I was humbled and chastened --- but determined to be ready, come what may.

1 Timothy 4:8     "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."   


  1. Wow! It's amazing how God brings you what you need when you need it! I was nodding my head and laughing the first 2/3 of this article and then you (or I should say you and your husband) whammied me to the spot with the last part. I wholeheartedly agree and now have a new mantra to push me into compliance. Thanks!

  2. Elaine, I don't know about you, but God has been whammying me quite a bit lately. I am seeing things, people, events in a new light and It is shaking my foundations. And I just feel I have to share these new insights! I'm sure others are seeing things differently, too. I invite everyone to share with me because I certainly don't have a monopoly on awareness. Come on, Ladies! Enlighten me!