The wisdom of listening and doing.

IMG_3010My legs hurt. It’s a natural reaction to the workout they received. They will recover.

They would recover more quickly if I were to follow the counsel of my running medical friend. “Ice is your friend,” he says. “Compression will help,” he says.

And everyone who knows running and muscle soreness agrees. I even agree.

So why do I continue to be forced to walk slowly by the pain in my quads?

I could blame others. “Why don’t you tell me how much ice?” “How long exactly should I hold it on?” “How slowly should I use the foam roller?” “And how do I find the time for all that stuff?”

But I don’t even ask those questions. I know I would get the answers. And then I would have no excuse for not following the counsel that will make me better.

And I need excuses. Because the pain in my legs does not exceed the perceived pain of inconvenience. The desire to take the steps that would make me better is less than the desire to sit passively.

When Jesus got to the end of his Kingdom-living manifesto, he could have said, “Jon, if you listen to those words from Richard about your legs and don’t put them into practice, you are like a man who builds a house literally on a beach instead of laying a foundation that will give the house long-term stability.” But he didn’t say that. Because leg muscles that are sore but not wounded will recover on their own.

Jesus reserved his metaphor for lives that are wounded and cannot heal on their own. They need – I need – to do the inconvenient but healing work of obeying all the things Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount.

Wise living is listening and doing.

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Photo: Hope Smith

I wrote about the Sermon on the Mount in my ebook Learning a New Routine. 

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About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

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