Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Prayer

I mentioned in a previous post that I've been thinking about prayer of late. I think to myself "how can I possibly ask God for anything? He knows what I need, and to be honest, I'm horrible at knowing what I need." Let's be honest... how many times have you wanted something really badly, and then later find out that you shouldn't have wished for it at all? I feel presumptuous asking for just about anything-- except guidance and comfort, that is. I'm not talking about praying for a new car here, I'm talking about praying for better health or praying for the health of others. Even then I think "I don't know what "The Plan" is, so should I lobby for a particular course of events?"

But then a pastor and friend of mine mentioned that he believes that God wants to be involved, wants to be asked. That's an interesting thing. So if I pray for someone else to recover from cancer, or that someone find a job, do you think God finds that presumptuous? Or, is that something that God would find delight in, since by asking we are acknowledging that He is the Creator, capable of intervention? I guess maybe I should go back to asking for things again. Otherwise, my prayers are pretty short... variations on "Thy will be done Lord; please grant us comfort and the courage to handle what comes our way."

Monday, February 14, 2005

Walking with God

This is only tangentially related to the theme of the blog (but there IS a connection):

So I've been on a mission to lose weight and become more fit. Like many who live in an affluent society, I've constantly tried to battle weight gain. I've been marginally successful over the years... my weight has never gotten "out of control." Yet, using the BMI as an indicator of healthy weight, I've been overweight. We all know the reasons that is not wise, eh? My weight was just enough of a problem to keep my clothes from fitting too tight (or not being able to wear some things at all), and reminding me from time to time that I wasn't as healthy as I should be.

On Thanskgiving Day last year I decided to get serious about this (again). While in the past I'd tried running as my exercise of choice, I'd finally come to the conclusion that with increasing age, running meant enduring aches and pains. So this time I've chosen walking. I'm walking 4 miles per day (that takes an hour, if I move at a good clip), and reducing portions. No magic diet plans here, just reducing portion sizes and making some wise choices (avoiding really unhealthy, high calorie foods for the most part, though I still endulge every once in a while).

So far I've lost 16 pounds! I honestly can't recall the last time my weight was this low. I feel great. A major benefit is that I can walk at a quick clip without getting winded-- that makes touring new cities on foot a lot of fun, and zipping through airports to make flight connections trivial. Every pair of pants in my wardrobe fits again (well, a couple are actually too big, but I'll consider that a victory). My BMI is now 24! So when I hear the endless stream of news reports about how society is getting heavier and less healthy, I can finally listen without cringing. I can't tell you how good that feels. AND I don't have aches and pains this time around.

And here's another benefit-- I spend an hour a day walking. That is a lot of extremely high quality thought time. While running, I often had a hard time keeping a train of thought (besides "how much longer? I'm really winded!"). Not so with walking. Lots of time for prayer and reflection. So I'm getting healthier AND making time for God. Wow, why didn't I discover this sooner? I feel great physically, mentally, and spiritually. Walking with God is indeed a wonderful thing.