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|Opposition in small things (a New Year’s post)|
Dec. 31st, 2008 at 12:02 pm
Yesterday morning, I walked two miles. This was my latest effort to restart a regime to address various health and fitness problems I have. I thought, “If I can just do this daily, it will make a real difference.”
Late yesterday evening, while turning off lights and generally shutting things down for the night, I walked through our darkened living room and smashed the third and fourth toes on my right foot against the heavy metal base of our living room lamp. I don’t think I broke them outright, but they were throbbing badly as I slowly fell asleep last night.
This morning, when I woke up, they were still throbbing badly. My first thought was, “Crud, I’m not going to be able to walk today.” However, I happened to change the TV channel from the morning news to TCM, where “They Were Expendable” was showing. This is a 1945 film, clearly made while World War II was still going on, about the Japanese invasion of the Philippines that commenced the same day as the attack on Pearl Harbor, leading to the US retreat from the Philippines and the surrender of some 80,000 American and Filipino troops left behind to the Japanese.
“OK, then,” I thought. “Maybe walking with sore toes isn’t so tough.” I popped several ibuprofin, did a few chores around the house while waiting for them to kick in, put on my walking shoes, and went out. Yep, my toes hurt for about the first 1/2 mile, but then settled down to quiet twinges. And I did the full two mile walk.
Decades ago, I heard a talk by Truman Madsen in which he quipped, “Why hide your light under a bushel when a thimble will do?” Similarly, I think we are often deflected or detered by mere speed bumps rather than insurmountable obstacles. Satan is nothing if not efficient — he wastes no more effort on us than we require him to expend. And, sadly, those requirements are often quite modest — opposition in small things.
My New Year’s resolutions, then, are not wholesale changes in my life. Instead, they are to identify those speed bumps that I shy away from and instead drive right over them. There are several things that I can and should be doing that really require no great change or effort other than to actually do them. We’ll see how things go this year, but I think they’ll go a lot better than things have gone for a while.Â ..bruce..