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Doug Creamer: Taking care of our temple

Doug Creamer

            The weather is beginning to change. Many trees are blooming. Even though we haven’t seen Mr. Sunshine very much this year, it almost feels like spring. I walked around the yard the other day and there is plenty of work that needs to be done outside already. The problem is all the rain. I don’t want to complain though, because summer is coming and we will be begging to get a shower.

            I kept busy doing some things inside last weekend, even though I wanted to do some outside tasks. I woke up Saturday with my back feeling a little tight. All the things I did that required bending over or doing some lifting all included some grunting. You know that sound that we all make when we are lifting.

            By late in the evening I noticed the tightness in my back wasn’t going away even if I rubbed it a little. My Mom used to always tell me, “Just rub it,” about any part of my body that wasn’t feeling just right. I was rubbing it and it wasn’t feeling any better. Then, without provocation, I felt a stabbing pain in the back.

            I was hurting pretty bad and not sure why. I hadn’t done anything. I asked some of the guys at work on Monday if any of them had similar events. All the older ones knew exactly what I was talking about, only one younger one did. That prompted me to wonder if I was of a certain age. My pastor, bless his soul, assures me that I am not of a certain age.

            The pain humbled me enough that I sought some prayer. My wife began the process and I asked the elders and pastor to pray for me on Sunday. God in His love and grace took most of the pain away so I could function better, but left the edge of a reminder that I need to be careful with this temple I reside in and take care of it.

            I don’t know why, but it seems that I have had to ask for prayer quite a bit this year. I’m not very good about asking for prayer. I have a tendency to fight my own battles. I am good about pulling myself up by my own boot straps. I like being the encourager, not the one needing encouraging. I like being strong. I like being the friend you can depend on. I like being the prayer warrior, the one who intercedes for others, not the one needing the intercession.

            I can hear my mother now, “God is teaching you a lesson.” What does He want me to learn? First, I think He wants me to be careful with this temple. I am willing to work hard, but maybe I need to learn to work smarter. I am not twenty-five any more.

            Second, I think God wants me to watch what I am putting in this temple. I am not just talking about food and drink, but vitamins and medicine, too. I also need to guard my ears from certain conversations, music, and news. I also need to watch what I am seeing. There is so much beauty we can enjoy, and many things we need to avoid.

            I think I need to be careful what’s inside, in my thoughts. Philippians 4:8 gives a great list of things we should think about. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my thoughts can be negative and discouraging. God wants me to keep my thoughts positive and focused on Him.

            There is a lot more to worry about with this temple…see right there…worrying! It’s so easy to head down the wrong path. God knows we all need each other. I need you to walk beside me, to encourage, challenge, and lift me up, but you need me to do the same.  We all need to draw closer to God, spend some more time in His word, and learn that it is OK to lean on each other.

            I encourage you to open up and allow someone lift you up when you are down. It’s hard, I know, but you might just discover how much you are loved. The Bible says we are supposed to encourage each other and to challenge each other to a deeper walk with God. So the next time you see someone a little down, reach out a hand and lift them up. Share one of your beautiful smiles with them and brighten their day. Remember, it’s OK to accept one, too.

Contact Doug at doug@dougcreamer.com

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