Resolution: Exercise

nighttracksUnless I’m sick or the weather prevents it, I walk several times a week. My blood pressure and heart rate benefit from it, and it keeps me from gaining too much weight. Tidal bay waters are a quarter mile from my door, and the river is almost as close. Whichever direction I go, I can find these calm and rough waters, along with trees, birds, and squirrels in minutes. I can also find Tobey hospital, the library, and train tracks. It’s a pleasure to exercise by walking, so this is an easy resolution to keep. But is it possible to go home by another road? There isn’t really a way home that I haven’t already walked multiple times.

It’s an objective truth that I can never walk home the same way twice. The planet is in an different place, the weather changes, nearby houses are repaired or fall into ruin, and the neighbors I see today I may not see tomorrow. I no longer push a stroller or have a toddler holding my hand as I walk. Neighbors have come and gone, and the ones who remain grow older just as I do. Three of my relatives have died, two have been born, nine have graduated from high school, and two are now married. So much of my life’s reality has changed during these years that I’ve been walking from this door, from this home on this street in this town. I never return home the same way twice is my subjective truth because my home isn’t just the white house I live in – it’s the gracious, God-given life I live.

This year as I head out the door for my usual exercise, I’ll continue to enjoy what I see and hear. But I’ll keep in mind how the road that brings me home is different from the one I set out on. It’s not just my life story that’s lived out on these streets, it’s the holy life story of creation. I’m part of the great history of the universe, albeit a very small one. But even my small part, my dusty road, brings me to God-with-Us. So does yours.

 

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

4 thoughts on “Resolution: Exercise”

  1. One of my favorite pieces of music is Quincy Jones’ “Everything Must Change”–the melody is haunting, the arrangement superb and then there are the lyrics:
    Everything Must Change
    Quincy Jones
    Everything must change
    Nothing stays the same
    Everything must change
    No one stays the same
    The young become the old
    And mysteries do unfold
    Cause that’s the way of time
    Nothing and no one goes unchanged
    There are not many things in life
    You can be sure of
    Except rain come from the clouds
    Sun lights up the sky
    And hummingbirds do fly
    Winter turns to spring
    A wounded heart will heal
    But never much too soon
    Yes everything must change
    The young become the old
    And mysteries do unfold
    Cause that the way of time
    Nothing and know one goes unchanged
    There are not many things in life
    You can be sure of
    Except rain come from the clouds
    Sun lights up the sky
    Rain comes from the clouds
    Sun lights up the sky
    And hummingbirds do fly
    And music, makes me cry

    1. Thanks, Bill! I don’t know that song, so I’ll be finding it on iTunes…Change has been a constant subject of discussion over these past few months almost everywhere I look. With hope and fear both. My prayer is that hope guides our changes. Peace, Johnna

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