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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Exercising My Faith

Years ago I learned that I enjoy exercising outside. For many years, I liked to walk alone because that was my only quiet time. Now I just appreciate the quiet time. My early morning walk is my time with God. As much as the walking is good exercise for my health, I think it has a huge impact on my faith. I remember my doctor telling me that 40 minutes of exercise was equal to so many milligrams of Prozac. Add time with God in that mix and you really have the makings for a great day!

A long time ago I had a rule that morning walks are for praising God - not asking for anything. At first I had to think of things but now I think of things the whole 40 minutes! One reason I like to walk early is because I like to walk out when the street lights are on and things are dark but within five minutes the Light begins to take over. It reminds me that Jesus is the light of the world. Matthew 5: 14-16, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." I am also reminded that today is a new day. Luke 1: 78, " A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful." No matter what I have been dealing with today is a new day. Psalm 30: 5, "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning."

Immediately I hear the birds singing. I have learned crows caw in patterns. I started counting the caws. It was four caws and then silence, four caws and silence, and continued. After a long while it went to six caws and then silence. I was so intrigued that I actually googled it and learned this is their companion calls. During the silence the crow is listening for a response. I am reminded of how God takes care of the birds and He loves me so much more! Matthew 6: 24-34, "Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? By seeing how God made the crows to do companion calls, I am reminded of how wonderfully we are made. Psalm 139: 14, "I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;"

A bus driver rides by me and always waves and smiles. She stops at one house in the neighborhood and picks up a child with special needs. His mother walks him to the bus. I thank God for that bus driver who is friendly and that mother who is probably tired. I ask God to bless all of them. And I thank God for this little boy who is His child and ask God to let him have a wonderful day and know he is loved.

Next I pass a man who is always getting in his truck to go to work. He also always smiles and waves. I see him tell his wife buy and leave. I thank God for our families, marriages and jobs. I ask God to bless him, his job, his marriage and that home. James 1: 17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."

I pass an elderly lady, in her blue bathrobe, getting her newspaper. She always stands there and waits for me to get closer and smiles and waves. I thank God for this lady and her ability to live in her home and get around. I ask God to bless her. I thank God for the older people in my life and their wisdom. I thank Him for the promise of taking care of me even to my old age. Isaiah 46: 4, "Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.

Next I pass two women walking, chatting and laughing. They are always friendly and smile and speak. I thank God for the friendships in my life. Proverbs 18: 24, " A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

A small black convertible always catches my eye because it looks like a friends car. I know it is not my friend when I see the blonde hair and he never wears a shirt! He does not ever notice me but I always pray for him, his situation and his day. I am reminded of praying for others and the gift of prayers that I have received! Galatians 6: 2, "Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

One of my favorite things is the little bunny I see every morning. He is always in one of three places. He used to stop eating and watch me but now he continues to eat. I am reminded how God provides all we need. Job 38: 41, "Who provides food for the raven, When its young ones cry to God, And wander about for lack of food?"

By the time I get back to my neighborhood I am ready for a new day. I have enjoyed my time with God and the others in my path. I thank God for the gift of today. Psalm 118: 24, "This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it."


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