Click Once for You

Fotolia_42187727_webBusiness Insider reported that in the first quarter of 2014, 198 million U.S. consumers purchased something online, and that’s according to comScore’s quarterly State of Retail report. That translates to 78% of the U.S. population age 15 and above. With all of this purchasing power at your fingertips, let’s discuss your dream concept for a few moments. You’ve imagined how incredible it would be if you could order your workout online. According to your innovative idea, this is how it would work: You pay someone else to exercise for you.  I love this part. You are permitted to choose the individual who you would like to perform the work for you. Is it conceivable that you could peruse the profiles of exercise-aholics who are advertising their services? Well, apparently you seem to think that there would be a lengthy list of gym rats eager to connect with you for a price. Imagine all the options available at your fingertips. Click for an hour of Kick-boxing tonight. Click for 45 minutes of strength training tomorrow. Click for 30 minutes of treadmill work and 30 minutes of cycling the following day. Click on the option for viewing the workout in real-time. This is great, isn’t it. You can watch your guinea pig  sweat through a workout of your choice.

Of course, this only scratches the surface as exercise is but one of the components at the core of a more abundant life. Therefore, to combat your personal health and wellness woes we must expand your ingenious new approach. If you think an online physical fitness purchase is worth your time, then I suggest that you also click on the nutrition link. This will take you to a menu where, once again, you may pick a lucky winner who will eat a healthy D.I.E.T. for you. How could anyone pass on this? Is any price too steep to pay to enable another person to consume all of those vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, etc. that, frankly, you’d just rather pass on in favor of your current staples. Now you never have to worry about cheating on your D.I.E.T. With just a simple click, your concerns are a thing of the past. Let someone else carry your burden. If you’ve ever pondered what it would be like to adhere to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, now you can better understand how these, and a myriad of other ways to eat, affect the human body. Through the efforts of your health hero, that self-sacrificing saint who will do what you are unable or unwilling to do for yourself, you can see incredible results. The best part is that all of this is guaranteed.

But, there is more! Choose the amount of rest you would like your superman or woman to receive. Why not let someone else log those hours of zzz’s so that you can have more time in the day to do whatever you desire? This program is so awesome.  Your personal health account is credited with points for each order you place. When you accumulate a specified number of points, you’ll receive a special bonus. In fact, if you act right now, you’ll receive your first complimentary gift. Just place an order for one fitness routine, one meal, and one night’s sleep and you will get to choose one hour’s worth of relaxation or de-stressing for free! Yes, you heard that correctly. Free, zip, zero, nada! Who will be the beneficiary of your initial order? Give the gift of peace of mind or peace of conscience. Choose from meditation, reading, prayer, a massage, a bath in Epsom salts, a magnetic therapy session, a dip in a hot tub/whirlpool just to name a few. Does it get any better than this?

As fun as it may be for a brief moment to have a laugh concerning some futuristic, hands-off health program, let’s be honest. A commitment is required. With your head, your heart, and your whole soul, you must be “all in” with this one. “Seek the wisdom that will untie the knot. Seek the path that demands your whole being.”--Rumi  In the end, nothing less will satisfy your deepest longing for a real and lasting transformation. No mortal man or woman can voluntarily perform a vicarious act on your behalf that would meet the requirements necessary for your happiness. No sacrifice or benevolent gesture by a hired participant can pay the price that you alone must offer up for the salvation of your body. No trainer or hand-picked substitute from a line-up on a crazy website can do the work for you. To cleanse yourself of past health transgressions, there will be suffering involved. But, in the grand scheme of things, you’ll see that the pain is part of your growth. “Always be a work in progress.”–Emily Lillian   This takes time. Yet with faith, you can repent of your wellness misdeeds and come unto a newness of life. Yes, you must be born again! Marvel not that this is so. “Change starts with you. But, it doesn’t start until you do.”–Zig Ziglar   Once you begin, everything can start clicking!  Perhaps, you want to start by purchasing a new workout outfit or two. Maybe, you will decide it’s time to place that food order. How about a new pillow or mattress? Well, as one of the millions who shop online, you know what to do. Just, click it and the fun begins!


mom's roses

A few months ago, I finally did something which was important to me. This particular something I had been wrestling with in my mind for several years. In anticipation of the sale of the house in which I grew up, I had been planning on taking care of some unfinished business. When Mom passed away suddenly and unexpectedly in the summer of 2011, she left behind a wonderful legacy in the form of five children and three grandchildren. Family meant everything to Mom. “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”–Abraham Lincoln  As I have shared previously, Mom loved to spend time in the kitchen. Of the many ways to demonstrate her love for us, surely her cooking was near the top of a long list. But, Mom was multi-talented. She had a degree in interior decorating. She sacrificed much of this passion so that we were always well taken care of at any point in our lives. But instead of becoming permanently lost, Mom’s creativity simply branched out. I mean literally out, as in outside. No, she did not share Dad’s enthusiasm for walking or bicycling. If it can be said that anyone was born with a green thumb, that someone would be my mom. What she willingly surrendered indoors she made up for a hundred fold outside. Mom’s rose gardens were a magnificent sight to behold. They didn’t just adorn the front yard for all passers-by to see, but they extended all the way around the sides of the house into the backyard and including behind the garage. They were everywhere the eye could behold. And, yes, they were beautiful.

After nearly three and a half years of pondering a massive undertaking, I discovered that I had left myself with precious little time for action. I had always hoped to transplant as many of the roses to our home as would be possible. It appeared that my procrastination had been very costly. Worse than the delay, was the realization that no one had cared for them since Mom died. Though not purposeful in nature, the obvious neglect had nonetheless caused severe damage. I was terrified that it was irreparable. Life gets busy. Often, we put things on the back burner. Too often, that is precisely where they sit, day after day, hoping for another glance, even another chance.

Imagine my disappointment when I finally commenced “operation transplant”, only to find a heap of lifelessness. With desperation, I cleaned out the gardens looking for any sign that would give me hope that this endeavor would prove fruitful. I cleared away leaves, and pulled weeds, and cut through vines to uncover what remained of the roses. I frantically dug here a little, there a little, and everywhere. You would never believe what breath-taking beauty had once emanated from this current landscape. What remained of the roses, from their stems, branches, and roots was nothing worth writing home about. Despite their condition, I figured I would attempt to salvage a few.

As I made the short twenty minute drive from my parent’s old house to my humble abode, I was overcome with emotion “Why, why did I not do this earlier?” Have you ever felt that even your best efforts were in vain? I almost convinced myself that this attempt was completely pointless. The excitement for this great adventure which had literally consumed my heart and mind had gone south. For a brief moment, I actually gave up. In anger I cried out in disgust at the mess in my car created by the pathetic looking remnants of my Mom’s rose bushes. I took out my frustration on them. I was racked with guilt. After all, was I not partially to blame for their condition? Notwithstanding my defeatist attitude, I made it safely home and was determined to follow through with the plan. As silly or stupid as it may have appeared to someone watching, I put them in the ground. What else was I going to do? I’d come this far.

How easy would it have been for me to say, “That’s it. I’m finished!” Well, it would have been very easy to do nothing more. I could have just shrugged my shoulders, thrown up my hands, and left the barren roses to die another death. However, a voice inside of me whispered to keep going. Given my inexperience, I wasn’t exactly sure where to go from there or how to proceed. After significant pondering and reflection, an answer came to me. “Do the things which you have seen me do.” I searched my memories. I did recall watching Mom, the great care-taker of all the roses, do some simple things. “Out of small things proceeds that which is great.”So, I nurtured them. I loved them as my mom had loved them for many years. Every day I did something for the benefit of the roses. I never let a day go by wherein I did not perform a task, however insignificant it might have been, for the well-being of those plants. I made their rehabilitation part of my daily routine. Time passed. I didn’t notice any changes, but I stuck to the plan. Before too long, I had to acknowledge that something good was happening. Though my eyes could not detect any difference in the roses, I perceived that the real change was occurring in me.

Strangely, I began to enjoy this daily routine. I was no longer simply going through the motions. The monotony of the same daily ritual in my garden was transforming into time that I actually treasured. I began to have hope once again. My faith increased that my work would be rewarded as I diligently did those things Mom had done. It struck me one day that my mom had acquired her skills from my grandmother. She wasn’t born in a garden knowing all things. She learned line upon line, precept upon precept. It is the prescribed manner in which we must all be schooled in this life. I’d like to say that I was physically present when the first shade of green appeared in the roses, but I was not. Yet, as I look back on it, it seemed to occur overnight. Miraculously, there was now life where there had been none. Though I had experienced discouragement and depression due to my procrastination, “my joy was now as exquisite as had been my pain.” The roses had been reclaimed. In time, their beauty was restored. Today, I can share that beauty with others as Mom had done with so many people in the old neighborhood.

The lesson is timeless. Don’t ever give up on yourself. There is always hope that you can regain control of your health. You may not reclaim the fullness of your former glory in this lifetime, but you can be redeemed. Your beauty can still shine through those years of neglect. “However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you think you have made or talents you don’t think you have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love.”–Jeffrey R. Holland “Do something today that your future self will thank you for!”–unknown  Delaying any further will be detrimental to you and your posterity. What legacy do you wish to leave behind?