The Running List… October 18, 2012

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Live from October 1st filming

Eleven days ago, when I awakened with the startling notification that my legs had decided to become non-supportive of my endeavors, my first instinct was to become discouraged. (I personally relish discouragement. It is comforting. Discouragement is the emotion we select when we really don’t want to look much deeper into the situation, but instead, would prefer to believe that we are the offended party.) It does have its dark side, however. It only has one door. Yes, it has an entrance but provides no exit, while simultaneously dimming all the light around you. So I immediately rejected discouragement and instead leaped to my running list.

My running list has five items: God, Mother Nature, people, friends and me.

Those are the elements, really, that interact with me every day of my life, since I rarely have to have a personal interchange with a goat or an elephant.

God. Who is He? God is a spirit. What do we know about spirits? Absolutely nothing–except they’re not physical. So it’s understandable that when God thinks about me, He’s thinking about my heart and spirit instead of about how I need to shed some pounds, start an exercise program and avoid pasta and salt. He is a spirit who became creative. Even to this day, we can tell something is truly spiritual if it was birthed from a creative place. And finally, being a spirit that’s creative, He has afforded us the opportunity to receive Him as a Father if we so desire, by faith.

So what did God think about my legs? Not much.

I moved on to Mother Nature. She is the enforcer, the practicality, the earthly intelligence and the evolver of planet life. She tries to create an even playing field, which requires some rules, followed by surprises. After all, if people only learned the rules, then we would just be a bunch of obedient robots, but if life were just full of surprises, we would be ducking for the cave every time we heard thunder. It’s balanced. Mother Nature has no relationship with me at all. She sees me as she sees everyone else, and because of that she is of great value in my life. What does Mother Nature feel about my legs? Mother Nature does not like sixty-year-old fat men who occasionally splurge on their eating like they’re eighteen and carry out the schedule of a twenty-five-year-old troubadour. She has an ax to grind with me.

So let’s review. God loves me; Mother Nature thinks I’m a prick. Okay. Let’s move on to people.

I love people because they have one moving part: they think about themselves. If you’re offended by that, you will probably not find yourself to be much of a people person. If you expect high-sounding virtue and great generosity of spirit, you probably will come to the conclusion that Homo sapiens should be wiped from the face of the earth. But once you understand that people are self-involved, then you can find a way to become involved with their self. So what do people think about my legs? Once again, not very much. They might consider me weakened if they saw me in a wheelchair, until I could demonstrate that I still bring value to the tribe and therefore, blessing to their teepee.

How about friends? Remember, friends are just people who decide to make you one of the things of their self-involvement. In other words, you are ONE of the ingredients (so don’t get puffed up). What do my friends feel about my legs? Being friends, and often related to me, they want to make sure they say something intelligent and meaningful. Also, just in case I fall over dead, they want to make it clear to everyone around them that they warned me. Their involvement is most valuable, with precious junctures of tenderness and prayers that go up to my Father, who would love to see my heart and spirit live on.

So let’s catch up and keep score. God does not really focus on my bad legs, but rather, is concerned about my heart, spirit and maintaining a personal relationship with me. Mother Nature couldn’t care less about a personal relationship, but instead, wants me to follow the rules better, and then she will consider whether I get to hang around. People are busy with themselves and only consider my legs a weakness if I do, or if I refuse to be of benefit to their pursuits. Family loves me, and as they think about themselves, they include me because I have become part of them and they want to make sure they have done everything reasonable to assist me without becoming overly zealous.

Then there’s me. I, being human, am also self-involved. So I am afforded two choices when it comes to dealing with affliction: Self-awareness or self-pity. Let me not be too noble here–I occasionally indulge in self-pity when I find I have too much time on my hands and get in some sort of bleak place, where I only see the lesser possibilities for my soul.

But self-awareness is a delicious combination of hope, humor and honesty. Hope in the sense that we know that as long as there’s life, there’s always a chance for something to change. Humor because we know that change will be slow and often comical. And honesty because nothing happens until we’re dealing with real, hard-core facts instead of wishes and dreams.

I decided that it was useless for me to pray for a miracle unless I had already started one. So for eleven days I have been on a fabulous food regimen, using exercise prudently, resting, drinking lots of water, and just enjoying myself to the hilt in the process.And then I have employed the following philosophy: the best way for me to honor God is by respecting Mother Nature while simultaneously attempting to turn all the people I meet into my friends.

There’s the key.

You can’t come to God and pray for a miracle if you’re ignoring the principles, the guidelines and the system of His creation established through Mother Nature. I do not know if I’m going to get better, but I do know that the process to getting better is to honor God by following Mother Nature and turning all the people I meet into my friends.

It makes the “me” part of my running list less cranky, less self-piteous and less boring. That’s where I am right now.

Have you checked your running list lately? God is waiting, Mother Nature will teach you if you listen, people are available if you’re interested in them, and friends are valuable if you give them direction on where your heart wants to go. After all, it’s not that complicated. What complicates life is when we believe too much in God but ignore His nature, or we don’t believe in God … and are stuck with ourselves.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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