Oh, wow! Today was beautiful. Awesome. Delightful. We were blessed with blue skies and calm waters. To begin with, the temperature was quite cool - 30 ish, but by the afternoon temps were on the rise and the sun was still a-shining. We decided to take the canoe out. (Our son borrowed it from his uncle and didn't return it, so we are enjoying it.) After carefully getting in, we embarked on a pleasant cruise around the little coves near us. We just loved it.
I used to paddle outrigger canoes 3 days a week in Hawaii, with a group comprised of mostly women and a fantastic Hawaiian named Harold. This was a hard core workout. I always left knowing I had pushed my body, increased my strength and burned some serious calories. We saw turtles (often), a baby hammerhead shark (once) and rode some waves while I sang "Hawaii-Five-O", with submarines coming in and out of the harbor.
Since moving from Hawaii, I've missed out on paddling. In fact, (and I might have mentioned this already) my whole fitness intensity dropped a notch or two. Can you relate? I had ups and downs of intensity but had a hard time really pushing it all the time. Having said that, you might have figured out that I've already needed motrin today after using those muscles that haven't had much challenge in the past couple of years. Oh yeah, I feel it.
This all has some spiritual application. When all we do is surface level Bible reading and don't study, our "muscles" get weak. We suffer from spiritual muscle atrophy. I'm kinda there right now- just a little weak. My passion is strong; my gratitude is deep, but I feel that I've let some atrophy of a sort set in. My work was wonderful and I'm so glad I did it, but I feel that I didn't stay DEEP in God's Word. I couldn't devote the amount of time to study that I had in the past. I couldn't participate in Women's Bible Study on a regular basis. I kept up with regular reading, but didn't have that intense study that is so beneficial. When troubles came, it was harder for me to put my mind on the scripture I needed to encourage me. With my move from Germany back to America and all the Christmas company, I still have had trouble really hunkering down in the Word. I realize that like my fitness routine, I need to intensify my Bible routine. I know that as I focus on building more of a desire for this, God will bless me and help me organize my time in a way that glorifies Him.
We all need to be careful, namely me, that we don't let the worries of this life choke off our devotion to God and the study of His Word. Just like that (!) we can realize that we've lost ground. We're in a battle and we have a real enemy out there. Let's get our paddles out and build some muscle. That's what I'm going to try to work on with this newfound free-time.
I'm thankful for this beautiful day and the reminder to keep pressing on toward the prize that lies ahead.