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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Blowing in the Wind
By Carole Robishaw


Whew, if we have to do another set of those curls, I think my arms will break off. Why do I do this? Actually paying to have someone torture me three times a week.

“Here we go class, ten more, up and down, up and down, keep it up, you’re almost there.” Susie shouted from the front of the class.

Right, I’m almost there. That sounds like my life, up and down, and almost there. I never quite make it all the way. Just more ups and downs. Ups and downs, over and over again. I go from mountaintop to valley. I never seem to be able to land on the plains in the middle. I go from one extreme to another. What is wrong with me, with my life?

Ah! Class is finally over, I can head for my reward now, a nice long soak in the hot tub, then lunch, maybe nobody will be sitting under the waterfall and I can get some of these kinks worked out.

“So, Marylee, want to join us for lunch? We’ve worked hard today, so we thought we’d head for that new French restaurant by the mall. We can indulge a little since we just worked off all those calories.”

“Your kidding, aren’t you” exploded Susie. “You just succeeded in losing a couple of pounds of pure fat and now you want to go and pack that, plus more, right back onto your hips? Totally unreal, what on earth are you thinking? No wonder you can’t lose any weight. Look, if you want a treat, why not try a smoothie, made from fresh fruit? That would be satisfying, filling, and give you added energy for the rest of the day. You keep asking me why you should continue to take my class, since it doesn’t seem to be working. Well, now I think I know what your problem is. Are you working out to maintain your ‘full’ figures or do you want to get serious and lose a size or two before summer gets here?” Susie shook her head as she stalked towards the locker room.

Sara and I looked at each other rather sheepishly, we both definitely needed to lose more than just a couple of sizes. I longed to be able to do more than walk wistfully through the misses as I headed for the boring women’s department.

“She’s right, you know,” I said. "We do indulge a little too often. I think that’s the story of my life. It’s not just my eating and exercising. My whole life is like this, I work like a slave, drive myself to the edge and then I indulge in something foolish, just as I’m almost at the point I want to be. I do it at work all the time, I run around like crazy, at everybody’s beck and call, then, just as it looks like I’m going to actually get rewarded with a raise or a promotion or something, I do something stupid, and totally irresponsible, and I blow my credibility.”

“Yeah, I know, I seem to do that with my walk with God, too. I study, and feel like I’m actually beginning to understand and then I wander off on some feel-good tangent, because it’s more fun than the in-depth study. I know that God’s Word is so much more, but I get lazy and want to stop when I reach that euphoric feel-good state, and I lose out on so much. I can see the difference between my walk and my sister’s. She loves really digging in and learning all about what He has to say to us, but I quit after a little fluff. The difference really gets obvious when we have problems. She seems to sail right through them, and has that inner peace, that ‘knowing something’ that I just don’t seem to ever get. It’s like she has this inner strength, while I seem to blow every which way, like dead leaves.” Sara sighed slumping down on the bench.

“Maybe we can help each other. I really love to study and do research, but I never gave any thought to doing it with the Bible. Maybe if we study together, we can learn how to be stronger. Maybe we can find that inner strength that will keep us from blowing in the wind, up and down with every whim and thought. Do you think your sister would be willing to help us?”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/09/09
ah.. very clever, tying the ups and downs of exercise to the ups and downs of life. You have a great lesson.
Charla Diehl 04/09/09
It takes commitment to stick to the things that matter--things that are worthwhile--in order to see results. Studying God's word--time well spent with rewarding results. Liked the connection between both exercises.
Bryan Ridenour04/10/09
Great correlation between the necessity of physical and spiritual exercise. Nicely done!
Jan Ackerson 04/12/09
Really good lesson--one that I definitely need to take to heart.

Some of the longer bits of dialogue toward the end struck me as not necessarily the way people usually talk.

I make the same kinds of rationalizations--thanks for writing this!
Shelley Ledfors 04/12/09
A very good application of the topic. Great message!
Betty Castleberry04/13/09
Good illustration of the topic. I enjoyed reading this.
Lollie Hofer04/14/09
Ouch! The truth in this story certainly hit home. Thanks (I think) for the reminder that one of the fruits of the Spirit is self-control. I needed that reminder. Ouch!
Beckie Stewart04/15/09
I liked this and have actually done that with other sisters-in-the-Lord. We have our time with the Lord and share it with each other what the Lord showed us. It keeps us reading and sharing. Helps to have someone to be accountable in time in the Word.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/15/09
I surely did identify with your entry. It would have been hard to talk me out of the French restaurant! Your message was right on target and presented well analogy to physical exercise.