Monday, March 17, 2014

"Stop Counting!" Day

Lately, I've been walking around the track in a nearby park. Every lap is 1/4 mile, just like a track around a high school football field, except that this track goes around a pond. I was coming up on my 4th lap this morning and thought..boy, this is boring...only a few more laps and I can go home. Except that I would be bored at home, so why was I in a hurry to finish my boring walk only to go home and be bored? 

Then I thought that perhaps if I only stopped counting laps and just enjoyed the (cold) fresh air and the benefit of the exercise, I could actually enjoy myself. So I did. I stopped counting, and you know what happened? I suddenly had a burst of energy and enjoyed myself. 

I can't tell you how far I walked, but I decided to stop when my legs got cold. And then I went and got myself a cup of coffee...and a donut. Because I was tired of counting. I had declared today as Stop Counting Day. Since I'd stopped counting laps, I figured I should stop counting calories too. I wanted a donut and had one...guilt free. A donut wasn't going to kill me. It wouldn't even make me fat. Not today. Not just one.

I've been counting the weeks I have left on my medical leave until I go back to work. I've been saying that I'm so bored, but today gave me a new perspective. Instead of expecting and cultivating boredom, I could be enjoying my time off. I could be enjoying the quiet and lack of routine.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who counts. We count laps or steps or miles when we exercise. We count calories when we eat. We count our money when we pay bills. We count our friends on Facebook. We count how many days until the weekend when we work. We count how many weeks until vacation when we go back to work after the weekend. 

Sometimes we count offenses. How many people have wronged us. How many times a certain person has done us wrong. 

Maybe we should all just stop counting. Once I stopped counting my laps, my calories and my weeks, I felt free. I decided to just enjoy the day. I decided that I didn't have to listen to what I think I should or should not have or do.

Life is not a series of "have-tos" and "should-nots." How much time do we waste counting down? How many hours are wasted on calculating miles run, laps walked, calories consumed, dollars spent, dollars left, and times wronged?

Love keeps no record of wrongs (I Cor 13:5).So we should not be counting wrongs done to us.

...Whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and out of the body...but the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean' (Matt 17-18). We should be more concerned with what we say than what we eat. 

Ok, that doesn't give us license to just shove donuts into our mouths without thinking about the health repercussions...I'm just thinking that sometimes we can take counting to an excess. 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven (Eccl 3:1). Counting is not listed as one of those activities, but I guess there is a time for counting and a time to refrain from counting. Sometimes, you just have to have a "Stop Counting!" Day.

"You are making all things new. We are free." (All Things New, Elevation Worship)

Blessings Along the Path,
Mary

All Things New (Elevation Worship) ...check out the guy playing his guitar with a violin bow...??? New generation of worship...different, but it's great to see so many young people sold out for God!

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