Doug Creamer column: Care for body and spirit

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 2021

By Doug Creamer

My annual physical is always in the dead of summer. I remember getting my physical every other year because I was healthy and well. But one summer day my doctor told me that I was of a certain age and he wanted to start seeing me every year. I didn’t like being told I was of a certain age, but I have complied with his request.

I always take a list of things to discuss with him, because otherwise I will forget something and have to wait another year to find out about whatever was on my mind. My doctor works through the list and then goes over anything that’s on his mind. Overall, I feel very fortunate to be in good health.

Since I retired from the public schools, I have been teaching Chinese students online. I love my job. I roll out of bed and in a few minutes I am talking with my students. This teaching job, unlike teaching in school, requires that I sit in front of my computer…sitting being the crucial word. I am not moving as much as I did when I walked the halls at school.

I needed to start moving, exercising in some fashion. I explained to the doctor that I don’t like going outside in 90-degree temperatures and 200% humidity. He said I needed to find a way to start moving more…don’t tell him, but he was right. In spite of the summer heat, I started walking.

I must admit that I wasn’t very good at the beginning. The walks were short and took more out of me than I cared to admit. As cooler weather has kicked in and my endurance has improved, I am doing much better walking. I walk longer, farther, and I feel better. A nice walk can help to clear the mind and the spirit, too.

I look forward to my walks now. We have a great community for walking. There are a number of people who walk in our community. We always greet each other, whether I am out there walking or watching from the front porch. Some folks like to walk in the morning, I like an evening walk. Some folks walk their dog while others are walked by their dog. I find people of all ages out there walking. We have a few runners in our community, too. I have also seen one full-fledged sprinter, but he is in the minority.

While my neighbors will wave as we pass each other while driving our cars, walking has given me the opportunity to speak with many of my neighbors. For some neighbors it is the regular pleasantries. For other neighbors, walking has opened a door to a conversation. I have met and heard people’s story and shared my own. I like connecting with people.

There are many quiet moments when I am walking. While I enjoy watching birds flit around and seeing the leaves change color, I want to talk with my heavenly father. Some days I have lots I want to talk with him about, while others it seems like we are walking together in silence. Some days, I pray for family and friends, while others I just want to hear something from him.

Walking is very good for the body, but it can be equally as good for the spirit. When we can find a quiet place without the distractions of everyday life, we can hear things from God’s heart. It’s nice to know that God loves us, but to feel the warmth of his presence in our hearts can change us in ways we cannot imagine. I am accepted in his eyes. The God of the whole universe is proud of me…his son. I am God’s child!

Quiet reflection and meditation can make us strong in the spirit. Life is full of many challenges and difficulties, so we need to ground ourselves in God’s love and favor. We don’t face any challenge or walk through any trial alone. Sometimes we have to get alone to know that we aren’t alone. God is not only with us, but he is on our side. We will overcome!

I want to encourage you to exercise your body and your spirit. We need to take care of the temple God gave us. We need to invite him into our temple. We need to allow his spirit to infuse our spirit, to refresh us and renew us. There is a world out there that needs to know God’s love. God wants to flow in us and through us to reach those around us.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com.

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