Getting up in 2020

New Year's ResolutionsIt’s been a great year of learning, trial and error, triumphs and defeats.  I kept of few of last year’s resolutions, but not many.  The list is long for each of us, as there are countless ways to improve our habits, health-wise and otherwise.  But the number one thing I will strive for in 2020, and I encourage you to do the same, is to heed the healing words of Jesus:  “GET UP and WALK!”

Whether your issue is a physical illness, a tragic accident, or being overwhelmed with depression/anxiety, grief, etc…. we simply cannot just “take to our beds”, give up or give in.  We cannot melt away into our recliners and melt our brains and ambitions binge-watching unreality-TV.  We cannot keep straining our necks and eyes on tablets and smart-phones for hours on end.

While we cannot always choose the cards we are dealt, we can always decide how to play our hand.  Our attitude determines our outcome, time and time again.  In John 5:6, Jesus asked the paralytic man, “Do you want to be made well?”  At first glance it seems a silly question.  Of course he wanted to be made well!  Who wouldn’t?  But the underlying question should be asked of each of us.  What do we want, and how badly do we want it?  What are we willing to do to improve our lives?  And do we believe that we can?

 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me(Philippians 4:13)

I understand that bad things happen to good people, and genetics certainly play a role.  Sometimes we have limitations that others do not possess.  But I want to tell you about two of my elderly neighbors who I check on frequently. Both ladies are the same age.  Both of them have had double knee-replacements.  Both of them live alone.  Each of them has a pet cat.  The one lady is depressed and sulks because of her situation.  She eats very little, and it is a fight to get her up and out of the recliner just to move over to the dinner table.  She refuses to get dressed unless she has to go out for a doctor’s appointment.  She spends every one of her waking hours watching a continuous news channel, or Hallmark movies… all of which she has seen two dozen times.  She is just “waiting to die”.

The second lady has no computer, no smartphone, and gave up her television years ago.  She gets dressed early every day.  She loves to cook and have friends over.  Her house stays clean, and unless it is raining, she can usually be found outside working in her yard trimming bushes, raking leaves, or hauling sticks and tree limbs to the back of her lot.  She always greets me with a smile and never turns down a walk through the neighborhood.  I want to be like her.

So of all the resolutions for 2020 that I can and will be making, the #1 thing that I MUST do is to GET UP!  I will not wallow in my circumstances, no matter how depressing it may be.  I will strive to eat healthier and exercise more.  I will not be filled with wine or the cup of despair, but rather with the Spirit of the Living God.  Daily will I praise His Name.

Did you know that taking a simple walk has been proven to be the BEST overall exercise for both our physical and mental health?  Walking outdoors in the fresh air is even better!  Research also claims that prolonged sitting can be just as detrimental to our health as smoking!  (Jury is still out on that full claim.)  So in the words of my adventurous, mountain-hiking nephew, “Turn off your TV and go outside!”

Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked.  (John 5:8-9)

He said to the paralytic,  “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”  (Mark 2:10-11)