My 87-year-old father doesn’t take one prescription medicine. The worst problem he has is some memory issues, but after 87 years, if the brain slows a bit in the short term memory department, I say it’s earned the right.
My 87-year-old father doesn’t take one prescription medicine, and neither do I. I take six. Six. And that’s because I took myself off a non-life threatening seventh. That also doesn’t include a high-dose vitamin D or the daily aspirin. (The gray hair, crepey skin ((because that’s a thing now)), and creaky knee should have done it, but for some reason when the doctor added that “daily aspirin regimen” — BAM! Old.)
And now a birthday is coming up. The kind that pushes you over the hump from “early” or even “halfway to” to “approaching.” Ugh to the ugh. I’m approaching! I don’ wanna be approaching!
Yet there’s only one alternative and it is not a happy option. So I have no choice but to approach. The only choice I truly have is how I approach.
My dad? He approached (metaphorically speaking) in a shiny, top-of-the-line Cadillac. Well-tuned, state-of-the-art, clean as a whistle.
Me? My metaphor is more like a ten-year-old Yugo. Rusty, out of alignment. Gears slipping. Can’t see out of the dirty back window.
Mind you, I’m doing some things to improve the condition of my ride. But upon close and careful evaluation, I realize those improvements are all the kind that can be made from the comfort of my favorite spot on the couch. In front of me – not five feet from that spot – is my ticket to, if not a Cadillac, at least a nice Buick.
My exercise bike.
I don’ wanna!
Although I haven’t dusted if off to make it look well-used, I have avoided dropping my coat over it or hanging my purse on the handles. I am maintaining the appearance of availability. That’s something, right?
It’s just five feet. Come on. Get up and walk over there. Plug in some music or fire up an audio book. Turn on Dr. Phil. Just ten minutes. Five even!
I think I could pep talk myself into it. The problem is it is no longer part of my thinking. The pep talk is not in my head as I sit there – the bike blending in with the decor, unnoticed. I simply don’t think of it.
And then I remember Exodus. I ask God every day to show me something just for me as I read His Word. But in that second book of the Bible, all I see are those stubborn Israelites having to be spoonfed rules and regulations. It’s as if God was having to overcome their unwilling hearts by pounding His truth into their brains. Nice, I think: very specific. Doesn’t leave much to the imagination. No decisions or uncertainties.
I didn’t get it right away.
Wait. Let me pull this creaky Yugo over a minute and try to put this together. In order to be physically safe, healthy, and blessed, the Israelites needed to set their minds on God and His plan for them. Hm. I wonder…
It’s all about the mindset. My don’ wannas have nothing to do with it.
The next morning, I set aside my regularly scheduled ritual and God and I had a nice long chat about my mind. And my calendar. And the clock.
And that bike.
So I’ve filled the Yugo’s tank, and used premium this time. I’ve purchased a progress chart and enlisted a non-guilting accountability partner. I was more confident the schedule was God’s when it wasn’t every. single. day. since that extremist tendency has been the death knell to many a me-inspired self-improvement plan. And according to that schedule, tonight is Day One.
Another Day One. Oh dear Father, am I ever hoping and praying for that more elusive Day 30. Who am I kidding? I’d like to see Day Two.
I’m still approaching. Can’t do anything about that. But hopefully I’ll dump the rusty Yugo and be approaching in that nice Buick…via exercise bike.