One hill at a time

New PictureLet me pick up where I left off. In my last post I talked about the jogging accomplishments I have reached as of late. I didn’t believe I would ever reach these feats, especially at this point in life. I am regularly jogging 3.5 to 4.0 miles three or four times a week. but, there have been many hills and valleys along the way.

Speaking of hills, they are killers. This is the first time I’ve lived in an area where I had to face the hill challenge. We moved here from Ohio where everything is as “flat as a pancake.” You can see for miles and miles across open farmland. Then we moved here and experienced the hills, as mild as they might be.

On my three different jogging routes I face several hills to climb. For months my approach had been to jog on the downside of the hill until the next hill showed up and then walk up the hill. As I would begin my route each morning I envisioned the hills and convinced myself that I could never jog up the hills, at least not all of them. Maybe I could take the first couple hills but not the entire course.

Then, I can’t remember exactly when and how it happened, but it did, I began to think differently about the hills. I began the “one hill at a time” approach. The only hill I was going to concern myself with was the next one. And until I had taken the next one I would not fret over the one that followed it or any of the other hills on the course.

The result was me finding myself taking more and more hills until one morning I surprised myself and jogged all the hills. But the only way I could do it was to think “one hill at a time.”

That’s a pretty good approach to the problems of life too, isn’t it, “one hill at a time.” In fact, that is exactly what Jesus instructed us to do. Matthew 6:34 “So don’t be anxious about tomorrow.  God will take care of your tomorrow too.  Live one day at a time.”  Or take life one hill at a time. Don’t worry about the ones down the line. Just focus on the one in front of you.

Today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday.  When you worry you don’t do anything about yesterday, you can’t control tomorrow, you just mess up today.  The future can seem overwhelming.  Therefore, God has put it in little bite-size pieces.  He just gives it to us in one little 24-hour increment at a time.  Live one day at a time. Talk one hill at a time.

Overcoming worry is a day to day choice.  There is no pill that will make you stop worrying.  There is no seminar, tape, or book that will rid you of worrying.  There is no one spiritual experience you can have and you will never worry again.  Worry, and the antidote to it, is going to be a daily choice, sometimes hourly, sometimes moment by moment choice in which you say, “Am I going to trust in God, let Him lead my life and take it one hill at a time or am I going to live as if it all depended on me and try to wrap my arms around it all and try to figure it all out and fix it?”

It’s your call. For me, one hill at a time works better than anything else I’ve ever tried.

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