Thursday, January 19, 2023

Trapped by Sedentary Confinement?

When my wife's parents travelled to Ethiopia in the 1960s, the journey took weeks. By the time they arrived in Addis, they had been refreshed by days of sailing, where they had had time to relax, read, study, and pray. Later, when Becky and I began traveling to Ethiopia, the trip lasted a matter of hours. We would have breakfast in Virginia, lunch in Frankfurt, and dinner in Addis. In my frequent travels to the nations, I would think nothing of flying to, say, Seoul, and then engaging in ministry within an hour of arrival. The greatest problem I faced was a mild case of jet lag.

Jesus knew nothing of jet lag. When he went from village to village, he moved on foot. Those long walks were undoubtedly accompanied by long hours of quietness and both physical and mental rejuvenation. I believe we will discover -- if we stop and think about it -- that our weariness rarely comes from the genuine tiredness of body that we feel at the end of an honest day's labor. Instead, it is the weariness of a tired spirit. We are worn out from busyness and pressure.

Because so few of us lead a slow-paced life like Jesus did, is it any wonder that I talk so much about artificial means of recreation and renewal? As a society, we need to make ourselves walk or run or cycle. The incidence of obesity alone in America should make us pause. Who will deny that our lack of physical activity, unhealthy lifestyles, and questionable diets have contributed to this sad state of affairs? It may sound like an extravagant claim, but physical activity can be a comfortable, energizing, and fun form of behavior.

Are you trapped by solitary sedentary confinement? 

I assure you, anyone can be more active. Anyone can learn to gently convince their body that moving is better than not moving. Real change comes by overcoming your doubts and fears one step at a time. With each step you take, it becomes more and more difficult not to be an athlete. 

This is what happens when we untie the "nots" in our lives. You just have to to be willing to see where you are, decide where you want to be, and figure out how you want to get there.