May 26, 2011

Discovering the Story - Karen Toews

Last summer on this blog I expressed my angst about a physical loss - running - an activity that also carries a big inspirational punch to get me writing. In the eleven months since that post, my treatment has been yoga, swimming, cycling, chiropractor adjustments, kayaking, professional massage, MELT, acupuncture, limited running. Plus: self-reflection, prayer, meditating on scripture and inspirational readings, commiserating with (aging) athletes, researching for solutions, etc. I was so hopeful that by now this frustrating journey would be over and done with - that the monotony of the previous list would be only in its reading, not in reality.

I've questioned why
this habit of physical exercise - that I love and brings ideas and energy - has become something that can consume my mental focus and distract me from the keyboard.

Yet - paging through my journals and the notes written in my bible, I realize this saga is, in a small measure, a positive writing story.

"A healthy spirit conquers adversity, but what can you do when the spirit is crushed?....God's name is a place of protection - good people can run there and be safe." Proverbs 18: 14, 10 The Message
My notes: I'm so concerned about a healthy body. God, help me to focus on having a healthy spirit.

"We thank you, God, we thank you - your Name is our favorite word: your mighty works are all we talk about.
" Psalm 75:1 The Message
My notes of thanksgiving: the beauty of the river where I live, the melancholic hooting of the owls in our woods, the hope of physical healing, the wonder of the creative energy of God and His grace and generosity to share it with us.

Recent exercise journal entries:
"Felt great again today. Hallelujah."
"Weird thing going on in my right hip-hamstring. What's that about?"
"God, help my body to be receptive to this latest treatment."
"I trust you, God."
"I think I need to write for runners - that there's life beyond running, there are risks and pitfalls of self-absorption, God has ways for recovering and coping with the sense of loss and realities of injury
and age."

It's taken a long time but just maybe I am finally discovering the real story.


  1. While not a runner, I can relate to your struggles. It seems that our lives are a continual battle against things that try to put themselves on the throne, shoving Jesus out of the way. I've been reading a book called, "Love to Eat, Hate to Eat" and while it is about eating disorders (we know so many who have this problem), the principles in it cover any kind of throne-usurpers. My copy is digital (included in Logos software) but I'm sure it is available. I'm not finished it, but recommend it highly for any struggles with distractions!

  2. Hi Karen,

    I agree that we can be sidelined by the best intentions - anything can take the place of our relationship with Christ. For some it may be food, others computer, TV, physical exercise; anything can be put on the throne - but only One should be there. It is a life long discipline to keep focusing on Christ.

    That doesn't mean we can't do activities we like but we have to ensure they don't usurp our time with Christ.

    Last week I wrote about Wandering,, as I had fallen away from what I believe God wants me to do.

    Great post and great reminder,

  3. Thanks for mentioning this book. As a holistic nutritionist, I am always interested in potential resource material. As to the distractions, it's submitting to Christ one step at a time. The process of writing this post was motivating for me to spend more time journaling this morning -interesting how that works, isn't it?

  4. Wow. I see the paradox in this situation. (And most of us find ourselves in a similar one.) Your love of exercise gives you inspiration and keeps you healthy. Good thing, right?! Your love of exercise takes over your life and makes it hard to focus on other things. Bad thing. I guess it is about balance. Great thoughts that can be applied to almost any situation.


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