One of the things I am realizing is that exercising here is going to be a challenge. I have been super-spoiled with convenience in this over the past several years.
The gym I went to in Harrisonburg was right around the corner from my house. I could easily incorporate a nearly daily workout before heading to work. Even in Antigua, I found a gym just a few blocks from Dona Cristi’s house. Now, however, things are different.I found a tiny gym in Jarabacoa with old-fashioned free weights and pretty much nothing else. The problem is, when we have outreaches, I won’t have time in the morning to get down there. In the afternoons, it is hot, hot, hot.
I’ve got my yoga mat, balance ball, and some DVDs, so that’s been pretty much all I’ve done for the past two weeks. With the food being so delicious, I worry about not fitting into my clothes soon! And, I want to keep my heart healthy so I can serve here in good health.So, on Saturday afternoon, I decided I simply had to get out and run. I put on my running shoes, grabbed my Ipod and headed out. My neighborhood is unpaved, so it started a little rocky (literally!!).
Once I got out onto the main roads, I had a decent sidewalk. The fumes from the cars, trucks, and motorcycles were unwelcome, but it still felt great to stretch out my legs and go. I ran and ran.
Past a man on a bench holding a live rooster, past little kids playing in puddles, through downtown… I kept running, expecting to be able to loop back at some point.At about 45 minutes in, I realized I had no clue where I was. My legs were also protesting. So, I stpped running and started walking, looking around for anything that looked familiar.
At about 60 minutes, I had to admit to being completely lost. Thankfully it was still light out, so I wasn’t really worried yet. I kept walking, street after street, a strange ‘Americana’ in black workout clothes, wiping away sweat every few steps.At 75 minutes, I felt the slightest niggling of panic as I realized I was passing the same guys standing on the corner… for the third time.
Okay, time to pray. “Father, I am lost and scared. Please help me to find my way back home.” A little more walking, and I found a familiar street. Instead of running with glorious abandon, I now trudged along, backtracking the entire way I had first come.As I walked, I (figuratively!) kicked myself. First of all, knowing my predisposition to get lost, why hadn’t I taken my cell phone, or at least a map? Secondly, why had I waited for panic before crying out to God?
Once again I had to confess my tendency to rely on myself. I wait and wait and wait until I am nearly drowning before asking for help. Why am I so stubborn? I’m so thankful that God is so patient with me.
I pray that in this week, as I head back to El Callejon, with the concerns and struggles of that little community, back to not understanding all the Spanish, back to working with a new team, I will remember my slow trudge back home.
I will remember that I don’t need to wait until I am utterly lost to ask for help. That God is with me, even as I circle around and around. That He often allows me to flounder, not because He is cruel, but to help me to learn how to lean on Him.
Oh, Father, thank you. Thank you that You are so patient with foolish me. Please help me to rely on You, and You alone. Continue to work in me so I may reflect Jesus more fully.