Prayer like digging…

Sometimes prayer is like digging

Sometimes prayer is like digging for water in a dry, resistant land.

You dig and dig and dig but all  you undercover is…  more sand.

Fatigue sets in. Weariness weighs you down.

Suddenly,  water.

A trickle here, dampness there but it is enough.

It  whispers a promise. “What you seek is here. Keep digging.”

Hope renewed, you muster your flagging will and continue.  Spadeful after spadeful yielding nothing but dusty earth. Arm-numbing fatigue but desperate for breakthrough,. With no other hope of help, you persist.

To whom else can we go?

So you go on.. digging, digging, digging. Desperately clinging to hope. Voices around and inside you are urging, “Give up… Give up…”

Sometimes, (what grace) others dig alongside. Their presence invigorates your bone-weary hope.

So it goes on and on and on. Spadeful after spadeful of dry, lifeless sand.

Then.. that moment . Water wells up.

You hold your breath. Waiting… Afraid to believe.

Can it be? Can it be? Will it last?

Digging frantically now. Water pouring in, filling and overflowing.

Stop digging! Give thanks.

Then the realization.  Your answer was lying in wait all along! Waiting only for you to reach it.

Keep digging… don’t give up! Never give up!

Keep praying… your miracle is waiting.

 

Sustaining an active lifestyle

One of the biggest health challenges facing the world today is the silent epidemic of lifestyle diseases. Diabetes, insulin resistance, cardio-vascular diseases and hypertension have been identified as the biggest killer in the developed world, and are increasingly impacting the quality of life in developing countries.http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/…/GrowingGlobalChronicDiseaseEpidemic.aspx

The good news is that these conditions are highly preventable. And, as with any life-threatening disease, prevention is better than cure. Most of us are aware of the dangers of smoking, drinking and obesity but many overlook the other major contributor to the increase in life-threatening chronic conditions viz. inactivity.  https://www.lifespanfitness.com/workplace/resources/articles/health-risks-of-a-sedentary-lifestyle

On the down-side, while medication can help manage these chronic conditions, there are no “quick-fixes”, no wonder drugs, no over-the-counter instant solutions,  to resolve them.  Lifestyle diseases require lifestyle solutions.  In short a healthy diet and regular exercise sustained throughout a lifetime.

Simple, right? Well, it should be, but for that word “sustained”. Oh, how we humans struggle to sustain good habits.  While many if not most people will at some time or another sign on for exercise, few are able to sustain it long-term.

If you are one of those who regularly sign up with enthusiasm in January, only to peter out by June… take heart, it can be done. Here are 5 simple suggestions that, if applied, can help you get going and keep going.

1. GET UP

Ever noticed how busy people are the ones who get things done? They have learned and embraced two simple truths.

  • The only way to find time is to make it. If you need an extra hour for exercise, set that alarm an hour earlier and when you hear it, Get up.
  • Snooze… you lose. Trite but true. The seconds, minutes, hours you lose prevaricating about getting up aren’t coming back. You can spend them debating whether to get up or not or you can get moving, get out and kick-start your day.

2. YOU BE THE HEAD...

The brain is the command centre of your body. So why is it we so often let the body call the shots? I know that you know what I mean. The little niggle in your shoulder, the early morning stiffness, that “I think I feel a cold coming on” that keeps derailing your exercise plans.  I’m not talking about ignoring pain or training with a raised temperature but letting your body dictate when you train is abdicating. Your body’s default is comfort and it will lie to hold onto that comfort.  If you want to sustain an active lifestyle, you be the head.

3. START DATING… Make a date. Find a running/cycling/walking/gym mate. Or better yet, find a group of like-minded exercisers. Some of you will say you prefer exercising alone. I thought so too but having someone to train with keeps you accountable. It’s one thing to let yourself down, it’s another to be a no-show on a prearranged date. And the best exercise date of all is a personal trainer/coach. Too costly? Sign up for group sessions. You’ll get all the benefits of training with an expert at a fraction of the price.

4. CHOOSE YOUR POISON.. You are an individual  with your own likes and dislikes, capabilities and inabilities. So don’t try to fit into someone else’s mode. If there is one sure way of insuring your exercise regimen won’t last, it’s doing exercise you loathe. Don’t like running? Find an alternative you do like.  The are so many ways to exercise. try as many as you can until you find the one that gets you up in the morning. And, when you do, keep mixing it up. Variety is key to sustaining an active lifestyle. Your body will reap the rewards.

5. HAVE FUN

Whatever you choose to keep yourself active… have fun doing it.  Embrace the joy that movement brings. Run downhill with your arms spreadeagled. Go for a walk in the rain, jump in puddles, skip.  Sweat some, train some, work some and laugh…  a lot.

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The Reluctant Exerciser

I was a reluctant exerciser. Not that I disliked exercise per se. It’s just that I sucked at it! You name the sport; I sucked at it. You know that fat kid, that’s always last to be chosen for teams at school? The kid who wears glasses (from age 4!) and has what was known in my day as “butter-fingers? That kid was me.

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Born to fly

The hadada ibis chick in my garden is getting ready to fly. The sole surviving hatchling after his sibling eggs were blown to the ground in a storm, his arrival surprised and delighted us (we had supposed the whole brood was lost).

In the three-plus weeks since he emerged from his shelled incubator, the hadada’s world has been confined to a single branch on a tree from where he has watched our comings and goings, tilting his head to follow me with his eyes as I tend the rabbits. And we, in turn, have watched him grow from feathery babyhood to the size-able fellow that he is now.

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Hope Is A Garden

It’s been a long dry season in the southern tip of Africa we call home. Far too many dry days, not enough rain. Far too little of the precious water we need to sustain life. And yet, stepping into my garden today, there is evidence of life.

Months and months and months of depending solely on the little rain that has fallen but suddenly, in the dead of winter, feisty little buds are popping up their pretty heads. Their beauty astounds me and it dawns on me… this garden is hope!

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