As this new year begins, we are once again given an opportunity to make meaningful changes in our lives, another opportunity to take better care of our health, our finances, our relationships, especially the one we have with God.
So much travel this past season. I actually don’t think we were in our home in Maine for more than a week or maybe two if you added all the days together there over the past three months. Not that I’m complaining. Sid and I were blessed to have the Pugabego as our home on wheels to be with others, manage Camp Or L’Dor, attend the UMJC conference, visit relatives, stay with my sister Wendy’s family for much of the time here in Massachusetts. Although these days away from home were meaningful and important, travel does disrupt our routines. No matter how I try, it’s hard to jog regularly (code for my prayer/talk time with HaShem), make the best food choices, and get regular rest when on the road.
This morning while Wendy was teaching a morning class I jogged, after not having done so for over a week. As I huffed and puffed my way, I realized that feeling physically challenged completely detracted from my ability to commune with God. It’s that second aspect of jogging that makes it so amazing. By letting my physical fitness routine go by the wayside, my spiritual life was negatively impacted too. I was reminded how quickly we lose ground when we let our attention shift away from the small routines in our lives that we’ve worked to create, and for good reason. Not jogging regularly. . . was I still doing morning shachrit. . . ? It becomes a slippery slope very stealthily. . .
Building toward life changing results requires dedication to the small tasks that by perseverance and patience can result in transformative results. Not only did my jogging routine which started over 30 years ago keep my blood pressure in check, but it became a regular forum for my intimacy with our Creator, His Presence often revealed to me by revelations in nature experienced along the delightful and diverse jogging paths.
Today, however, I was taught a new lesson from that time outdoors – to focus and stay committed to the building blocks, small as they may be, in this case just a half an hour every couple days, that can create opportunities for changes physically, emotionally, and spiritually over time. I was reminded, much as the tortoise and the hare story, that slow and steady win the race, including my journey toward intimacy with the Divine.
We are being given another opportunity for transformative change through our upcoming ability to read Scripture together through Rabbi Nathan’s Daily Dvar program (and thank you, Sue!) that you have been hearing about through the Ruach E-News. To think that we can separately and together be reading the entire Bible in two years, made available in these bite-sized pieces through reading or audio on our own electronic devices! I can’t wait to start this next week as the Torah scroll rolls back to the beginning!
This is the time to recommit, to make those choices toward good health and toward centering our lives around life in Him. And as we are healed and inspired, other areas in our lives that require clarity and wellness, our relationships and even our finances, mature and prosper as well. Prioritizing just small amounts of time each day for prayer, Bible study, and caring for our bodies, over time becomes a way of life, one that we are blessed to have the choice to make, a way to make living divine.
I’m in! How about you?