It’s the day for my Spiritual Journey (first) Thursday post for May. Today we’re linking at Mainely Write where the topic is Donna’s one-little-word for 2017—REACH. Would you believe reach has 29 shades of meaning (by my dictionary.com app)? What a rich word!
When I hear the word “reach” I imagine a vigorous, energetic motion toward something not yet attained or possessed. We talk of reaching goals and dreams. That’s a side of reaching that, in the last few years, I find myself less enthusiastic about than when I was starting out in work and family life. Lately I’m more content to just be and enjoy the moment for what it is. Have I perhaps entered retirement mode?
And yet, the book I go to for spiritual direction and inspiration has few retirees. One of its heroes, Moses, begged God for a chance to continue leading the people into the Promised Land at the age of 120 (Deuteronomy 3:25; 34:7). Another tireless character was the Apostle Paul who, despite resistance, setbacks, and imprisonment refused to quit. He wrote “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 3:14.
One of the things that affects my ability and desire to reach is my physical state. When I’m rested and fit, I’m far more likely to find myself reaching toward a new skill or goal in imagination and activity. I love Psalm 92:13,14 for its ageless outlook:
“Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing.”
To make that possible, I believe people need spiritual fitness as well as physical. The little poem about spiritual fitness that I’ll leave you with is as true for me today as it was 10+ years ago when I wrote it. May we all keep reaching in body, soul, and spirit.
Build Yourselves Up
But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith – Jude 20
Warm up with worship
hands raised, spirit stretching
to the Almighty.
Increase the rhythm of the heart
with the jumping-jacks of praise.
Hop onto the treadmill of the Word
read it, study it,
meditate on it, memorize it.
Then it’s down on the floor
for push-ups of confession
abdominal crunches of petition
and, firmly grasping others’ weighty burdens,
bench presses of intercession – set after set.
Up on your feet again for step-ups of listening
then cool down walking in place, silent.
End with a song of thanksgiving
that pours from a well-toned heart.
Now go out to meet the day
your spirit radiating contentment and joy
flexible and strong from its workout
with faith, hope and love.
© 2004 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)
Founder of ilovemusic
May 3, 2017 at 9:54 pm
good job…. 🙂
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May 4, 2017 at 3:38 am
Such a rich post today: from the quotes, to the poem and all the thoughts between! I love your workout poem.
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May 4, 2017 at 3:55 am
As I get older, I am more tired. I don’t have the enthusiasm I once did for reaching. Maybe that’s why it’s important to take a long look at the word. Your poem is sure one to wake me up and say get moving.
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May 4, 2017 at 4:51 pm
bench press of intercession…..oh, yes. There is much to ponder from your ponderings. I think you have much spiritual strength to be able to write this way today.
May 4, 2017 at 5:28 pm
Oh, I’m with you on these words from your post: “Lately I’m more content to just be and enjoy the moment for what it is.” But then you remind us there are few retirees in the good book. And that we need to press forward and to be rested and fit so we can run the race that is before us. Your poem is inspiring.
May 4, 2017 at 5:34 pm
Dear Violet, I think just “be” ing is a pretty powerful way to reach. Many times in my life my reaching has been a way to avoid just be-ing… now I am more comfortable in my skin. Thank you for you post! xo
May 4, 2017 at 6:22 pm
I enjoyed your poem and all the physical work in it. I, too, find myself feeling less inclined to reach these days, but I agree with Irene, too. There is power in the ability to “be” in the presence of God. I love seeing that in the poem and in the other verses in your post.
May 5, 2017 at 8:31 pm
It takes all angles for us to reach with our body, our heart and our soul