I’m a Little Off-Kilter but It’s Okay

It’s behemoth sized.

I know, I know. EVERYTHING is behemoth sized from a pygmy’s perspective.

Still.

It IS a giant among treadmills.

One that has intimidated me from the moment a friend donated it to my daughter’s exercise campaign a few years ago. I was sure that if I ever attempted to use it, one of my kids would covertly videotape and I’d wind up on America’s Funniest Home Videos – one of those AFV segments that leaves its viewers not only laughing but cringing as well. Yeah, that’s me. When it comes to physical activity, I may have a smidge of endurance but balance? Not. So. Much.

However, when my available exercise time did an about-face, and the husband gave stern warnings against walking alone at 4 AM, I knew I’d have to conquer this Goliath or give up walking for a season. Sigh. I moved it  my husband moved it into the family room (an area I avoided as passionately as the treadmill, but more on that later…) and College Boy demonstrated how to program it.

The very next day A week later, after plenty of self-motivating talk, I donned my walking shorts, grabbed my iPod, and turned the machine on.

And I was delighted beyond measure.

I discovered that the extra wide treadmill base wasn’t anything to be intimidated by; instead it made balance so much easier. I immediately loved it. I discovered I could even run on it.  As sweat trickled into my eyes, I wondered if there wasn’t something analogous to the struggle I was having trying to balance life in general.

I know there are Superwomen out there – I see their Facebook posts, I read their e-mails –  women who can keep up with dozens of things at one time and do so gracefully. Me? Again, not so much.  I just declared to my husband that I was renaming my to-do list “The Wish List.“  Maybe I’m dating myself again, but back in the day, when the Christmas season rolled around, my siblings and I would fight over the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Each of us would pour over it, creating our individual Wish List. Everything from bell bottoms to Easy Bake Ovens (ha, I used to enjoy cooking…) were neatly printed on my list with the accompanying page number and color or size if necessary. We kids always put way more on the list than we knew our single, stay-at-home mom could afford.

And just like those early Christmas lists, my daily to-do lists tend to be unrealistic, yet I sometimes let myself feel as though  I’ve failed if everything doesn’t have a nice pencil line  of success through it before I turn down the comforter and drop into bed each night.

Truth is, it is a rare day when I have everything on my list completed, a rare day when I feel like everything is balanced, everything  in sync.

When I’m caught up on the laundry and the house is tidy and I’ve managed to cook a few meals, and my homework is done, and there aren’t any take-home-from-work projects camping out in the recesses of my mind and I’m not feeling guilty about lack of correspondence  and the Children’s Church lesson wasn’t  hurried through, and I’ve had enough of a grandbaby fix to get me through a day or two…well, then writing projects aren’t completed  or I’ve neglected cups of coffee with precious friends, and I’ve reneged on dates with my husband and pined for long walks in the sunshine or some other form of physical activity.

At the end of the day there are always to-dos left still to be done. I. Can. Never. Balance. It. All.

But perhaps I’ve given myself too narrow a base and that is the reason I’m feeling so clumsy when the day is over.

Maybe I need a wider foundation for my balancing act to be more graceful.

Instead of trying to balance it all every single day, I should think broader. Look back over the week. Or the month.

Or even a season.

Instead of crawling into bed and asking myself “Did I get it all done today?” and feeling like no matter how thinly I stretched myself the answer is always a resounding no;  instead of that, I could ask, “How am I doing overall in this season?”

I think I’d be happier with that answer.

And more importantly than giving myself a broader balance beam, I need a sturdier one, a solid, firm base to practice my life aerials on without crippling myself in the process.

According to 1 Thessalonians, we humans are three part beings:

And may the God of peace Himself sanctify you through and through [separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly and consecrated to God]; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) 1 Thes. 5:23 Amp. Emphasis mine

Three parts:

The part of us that is dead or alive in Christ – depending on our beliefs. When we trust in Him it is the part that is able to commune on a deep and visceral level with our Creator, the One who is most intimately acquainted with us.

The part of us that includes our mind, will and emotions, our passions, our intellectual thinking.

The part of us that is merely our “earthly tents,” our physical bodies.

We need to give attention to all three parts because they all affect one another. If my passions or my emotions or my thinking is off-kilter it certainly affects my body, my physical health.  And likewise if I’m not caring for my body  -perhaps by not getting enough sleep… –  it impacts my quiet time with God…which in turn  impacts my thinking…which subsequently impacts my body…and I get caught up in the vicious, totally out-of-sync- cycle.

But I’ve discovered if I let the part of me that communes with God on the deepest level be the foundation, then I can get a little off-balance with my body – perhaps going a few days without exercising or not getting enough sleep- or eating junk – and I’m not thrown totally off kilter. I can have days without reading or doing homework, I can have weepy, emotional moments…without everything becoming out-of-whack.

Because I’m standing on the solid place – my connection with Eternity.

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matthew 6:33 The Msg.

 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things (that you worry about)  taken together will be given you besides. Matthew 6:33 Amp.

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It’s FINALLY a snow day here in Colorado. I’m gonna totally skip out on the things neatly aligned on my to-do list, and see if I can persuade the HH to go sledding. Wish me luck. He claims we need a child with us or people will give us looks.

Anyway. Skipping out on the things I SHOULD be doing for some winter fun.

And it will not throw me off-balance.

‘Cause it is well with my soul. <GRIN>

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The Universe Has Been Rigged!!!

Going to college as a Granny rather than a young ‘un leaves me less susceptible to being influenced by the things I am forced to read. I’ve always enjoyed a variety of reading material, Including secular. I read lots of secular. Still, it frustrates me to see so many of our homework assignments giving nothing except negative perspectives on God and creation and people who believe; not so subtle viewpoints that only imbeciles believe in a gracious God. I Wish I could balance classmates’ perspectives with teachings of men (and women) like Dr. Collins. Let me share some of  his credentials:

Collins obtained his undergraduate degree from Washington State University in 1984 with a triple major in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy, graduating summa cum laude. Collins spent two years in a Ph.D. program in Physics at the University of Texas at Austin before transferring to the University of Notre Damewhere he received a Ph.D. in philosophy in 1993. His dissertation was titled “Epistemological Issues in the Scientific Realism/Antirealism Debate: An Analysis and a Proposal.” His defense of his dissertation passed with the highest possible honors and he received the Graduate Student Award in the Humanities for “outstanding research, teaching, and publication.

After completing his dissertation he served as a post-doctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Program in History and Philosophy of Science before joining Messiah College.

Anyway, his thoughts on creation.

“In order to sustain life, the universe must be precisely calibrated. In light of the infinitesimal odds of getting all the right dial settings for the constants of physics, the forces of nature and other physical laws and principles necessary for life, it seems fruitless to try to explain away all of this fine tuning as merely the product of random happenstance. “As long as we’re talking probabilities, then theoretically you can’t rule out the possibility – however remote – that this could occur by chance,” says Dr. Robin Collins. “However, if I bet you a thousand dollars that I could flip a coin and get heads fifty times in a row, and then I proceeded to do it, you wouldn’t accept that. You’d know the odds against that are so improbable – about one chance in a million billion – that it’s extraordinarily unlikely to happen. The fact that I was able to do it against such strong odds would be strong evidence to you that  the game had been rigged. And the same is true of fine-tuning the universe: Before you’d conclude that random chance was responsible, you’d conclude that there is strong evidence that the universe was rigged. That is, designed.

I’ll give you another illustration,” he continues. “Let’s say I was hiking in the mountains and came across rocks arranged in a pattern that spelled out WELCOME TO THE MOUNTAINS, ROBIN COLLINS.  One hypothesis would be that the rocks just happened to be arranged in that configuration, maybe as the result of an earthquate or rock-slide. You can’t totally rule that out. But an alternate hypothesis would be that my brother, who was visiting the mountains before me, arranged the rocks that way. Quite naturally most people would accept the brother theory over the chance theory. Why? Because it strikes us as supremely improbable that the rocks would be arranged that way by chance, but not at all improbable that my brother would place them in that pattern. That’s quite a reasonable assumption. In a similar way, it is supremely improbable that the fine-tuning of the universe could have occurred at random, but it’s not at all improbable if it were the work of an intelligent designer. So it is quite reasonable to choose the design theory over the chance theory. We reason that way all the time. Were the defendant’s fingerprints on the gun because of a chance formation of chemicals or because he touched the weapon? Jurors don’t hesitate to confidently conclude that he touched the gun if the odds against chance are so astronomical.”   -Adapted from interview with Dr. Robin Collins

Grateful for this wonderful (and sometimes off-kilter) life,

Marie with a :)