Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Today, early in the morning, my hip and knee physical therapy regimen got under way. Again, as with my visit to the orthopedic specialist’s office Monday, this was something I have taken other people to in the past, but a first for me.
I suppose it was inevitable, given all the soccer I played from aged four through 40. I never held back so I am sure my joints took a lot of extreme abuse. But I have managed to stay in good shape, so there’s that. Apparently it’s not unusual for former college athletes to hobble into their 60’s carrying a dangerous excess of weight, which in itself places necessary demands on knees and hips.
My therapist, Scott, did a lot of exploratory assessment, narrowed down his best approach, then put me through eight-ten strenuous exercises, six of which have come home with me for daily practice.
I was struck, as I always am when I think about the best ways to take care of my body, at how rigorous and disciplined I am going to have to be if I want to do this right. I am determined to get better via a commitment that won’t be easy, won’t necessarily be fun, will likely be tedious, and is going to require a good hour – daily – of my attention and practice.
So, I’m going to have an MRI, I will be going to therapy twice a week, and then I have this daily routine,
This kind of intervention is the obvious way forward; and even the financial cost typically elicits little more than a shrug of the shoulders and a nod of acceptance. There are consequences to ignoring medical advice.
Our spiritual health is no different!
And yet, knowing all that we do about commitment and practice and routine, we think nothing of limping through this life with little more than cursory attention to and investment in our spiritual welfare!
Going to church just a handful of times a year, ignoring opportunities for enrichment via fellowship and Bible-study, choosing not to serve in service or mission, failing to lead our family in regular prayer and devotions, avoiding the call to pledge and follow through with our financial support.
If we would only move from having a loose cultural affiliation with Christianity to being actual disciples (root word, “discipline”), then we would begin to live with the kind of authentic joy, light, love, grace, power, and goodness Jesus came to make not only possible but accessible that Holy Night so long ago.
In the meanwhile, I think I need to ice up that knee a little more… do I really need to do this every day? – DEREK