Life Lesson from Nike
Just do it.
I remember very, very clearly waking up one morning with an ache in my chest and a nagging in my heart. I was in the midst of my divorce and had somehow come to the conclusion that the best way to make myself feel better was to drink and flirt. Even though I had spent so much time relying on God’s faithful love to get me through the situation, I got tired. I… grew weary of doing good. So for a while (not long, but still too long), I took the easy road. Drinking pretty colored drinks in funny-shaped glasses made me feel better, as did attention from the opposite sex.
But that one morning, I woke up and I could not deny that I was living a life that was a) just not me and, more importantly, b) so out of whack with what God wanted for me that I thought it was going to take forever to figure out how to get back into His good graces. Well, what do you know, His compassions never fail and they are new every morning. Including that morning. So I stopped.
And, of course, I can’t tell you that I skipped merrily on my way down a yellow brick road to a life that was all rainbows and sunshine, but even as I screwed up over and over and over again, His compassions did not fail me. I disappointed Him, but rejoicing did come.
Those lightbulb moments have come for smaller, simpler matters too. It doesn’t necessarily come easy to me, but I have found that for many things, I have to follow Nike’s advice.
JUST DO IT.
Walking: Just do it. I have wanted to walk for a long time. Walking has always been a great form of exercise for me. Simple, yet effective. I was walking regularly before I got pregnant with our second, and then I stopped. One reason being an actual injury slowed me down, another reason being I used pregnancy (and then nursing) to get out of many things. (I don’t know if I’m willing to apologize for that, though. Pregnancy and new mommyhood are rough!) Anyway, once the second child was through using me as her milk bar, I could have started walking again. Could have. Whenever I would make plans to walk, any little thing could stop me. It’s too dark. I didn’t get enough sleep. I don’t have mace. I don’t have music. It’s too dark.
Then we moved, and I did feel safer (except for those crazy black vans), and then I found someone willing to get up at a time I didn’t know actually existed and walk with me. So we walked. Then one morning came and she wasn’t able to walk. I STILL WALKED. Then her work schedule and commute changed and she couldn’t meet me anymore. I STILL WALKED. Sometimes in the dark. Sometimes without music. Sometimes with the children. I just did it.
And even though it’s not like I’m a total fitness freak (no offense to those of you who are, I’m just not there and don’t know if I ever will be — but more power to you, for real), I still know I’m doing more to take care of me. First and foremost, to take care of the temple. Secondly, I only have this one body, and I need it to last for many years with The Husband and The Girls, and I want to be able to enjoy that time.
Quiet Time: Just do it. I have always been kind of all-or-nothing with quiet times. Then I got to a point where I said, “If I’m just giving him a few minutes here or there, is it really worth it? Does that really count?”
So one night, I went to my bookshelf and looked at the myriad of devotionals it held. I had given myself and God one excuse or another constantly as to why each book didn’t work for me. Oh. My. Gosh. LAME, LAME, LAME, LAME, LAME! So I took one out and decided I was going to just do it. I wouldn’t just find the time, I would make the time.
Strangest thing happened the very next morning. I got up, I walked, I got ready, and I had ten whole minutes before I had to wake the girls up. (If you don’t have kids, please trust me when I tell you that ten whole minutes to yourself is a miracle in and of itself.) I grabbed the devotion book that I hadn’t even cracked the spine of yet, and I told myself I would do however much I could in the time I had, but I wouldn’t rush. If I needed to come back to it later, I would.
Turns out that each daily devotion was only a page or two long, and I’m a pretty fast reader. So on that first morning, I was able to read the devotion, the accompanying scripture, and then pray. And I remembered requests that normally I would flip up to God throughout the day: Oh yeah, so-and-so is having such-and-such going on… And God has used that time to step on my toes, refresh my heart, and show me something new here or there.
Coincidence? I think not. (I don’t believe in coincidence anyway, really, but I like saying that.)
There are more things that I have just been struck with the “just do it” mentality, and maybe that’s just the Holy Spirit giving me a well-placed swift kick.
But beyond just doing it because I’m supposed to be doing most of these things anyway, I am (too) slowly seeing that I need to be doing these things for God. (If you leave me a comment that says nothing but “duh”, I will understand.) How many times must I have read Colossians 3:23?! Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Not for The Husband. Not for my daughters. Not for anyone else, but the Lord. Improving my well-being and making family life run smoother are simply bonus blessings.
I think my code, my motto (sorry, still watching Horton) should be… Just do it. For God. Duh.