A Walk to Remember

It was January in the Midwest and that mean cold…frigid cold. This yearly seasonal occurrence provides the perfect excuse to not venture outside for my usual morning walks. My scale demands that I confess this!
But not this morning! I was determined to be up bright and early and enjoy an invigorating one and a half mile walk before hubby ever woke up. That was before the afore mentioned hubby kept me up for several hours while he snored in his blissful deep REM sleep. It’s not his fault, really. And we continue to work on all kinds of solutions to this dilemma. But on this night, not a nose strip, or snore spray, or TV infomercial pillow, or humidifier or even continuous jabs to the ribs could prevail against the train running through our bedroom. I slept on the couch.
Next thing I know, I was somehow back in my bed, the alarm was shut off, same husband was in the shower and I felt my feet hit the ground running. Now my only hope was to catch up with my feet! When I finally did catch up they were in outright rebellion to the taking of a walk. But mutiny would not be tolerated! I was going on a walk and my feet were coming with me; like it or not!
Whew! Finally, hubby was out the door, chores were done and I was walking…outside. Appropriate layers were dutifully enlarging my frame (oh, yeah!), a hot lime green headband was shouting to oncoming traffic; “Over here! Watch me slip on the un-shoveled sidewalks and kill myself!” and the very savvy MP3 player was dutifully drowning out all possible embarrassment. Everything was going great until I found myself walking up a rather steep incline that should not have been in my path. So where was my path? Who put this hill here? Completely logical questions as far as I was concerned.
I had no idea where I was or how I got there. I did know I was not going any further up that hill without knowing where I was. Okay, I wasn’t going to go up the hill even if I did know where I was, but I really wanted to know where I was anyway. I had never seen this neighborhood before.
Thankfully there was a cross street just a few paces ahead, so I huffed myself up the short distance where I could see the names hoping I was still on the correct street at least. “Thank you, Lord! I am on the right street.” No, really. I truly said aloud, “Thank you, Lord! I am on the right street.” When you’ve had as many blonde moments as I’ve had you learn to thank the Lord often and mean it!
Anyway, there I was. A mile and a half into my walk and I wasn’t even turned around yet! Oh, goody! I was going to get a three mile walk in today! Go me! Now one might ask, “Elaine, how in the world did you miss the marker for turning around?” That’s a great question and the whole point of my blonde moment school lesson for the day.
What I have conveniently left out is that I was having a discussion with the Lord and just walked right through the large boulevard intersection where I was supposed to turn around. I don’t even remember stopping to look for traffic. I assume there wasn’t any or I wouldn’t be sitting at my computer right now writing this story. “Thank you, Lord!”
 I wish I could say this discussion was of the “Guide me today…You are so good” kind, but that would be a falsehood (as Marilla Cuthbert would say) so I won’t add insult to injury. In actuality I was vehemently arguing with God. It doesn’t really matter the specifics of what I was arguing about. Suffice it to say, I wanted to hang onto a grievance and God wanted me to give it up to Him. It wasn’t much of an argument, really. God would say, “Give it up Elaine.” And I would say, “But_____…” Just fill in the blanks. I was still arguing when I turned around. So sad!
I finally agreed with God and gave my grievance over to Him. “Thank you, Lord!” Then the most amazing thing happened! God brought to my mind several arguments, I mean strong disagreements, I have had with my husband as of late. That may not seem good right now, but wait.
It became clear as clear could be that when I argue with my husband I am much in the same blonde moment predicament that I was just in. I get so caught up in the arguing; making all my best logical points, calculating each and every comeback and looking for my opportunity to win, that I completely get lost, miss my turn to forgiveness and reconciliation and don’t even know where I am by the time the argument is over. (Usually that is when one of us walks away.) And I am ashamed to say that sometimes I am literally not even aware of the surroundings or changes in the environment or God’s promptings. I just want to win the argument. Casualties are just part of it.
I had one mile, a shower and a nice cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream (my treat for going on the walk) to let this lesson soak deep into my heart. Solomon’s proverbs came to mind. “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.” (Proverbs 15:18 KJV) and “The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.” (Proverbs 19:11 NKJ)
I am thankful for the larger than life picture lesson my patient Father, the King of Kings, gave me in my blonde moment.  I can only pray that I will be ready the next time the temptation to argue arises. That probably won’t be many days from now knowing life and my battle with the natural me. But, I am determined to learn well from my blonde moment and not let it go to waste.

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