The Art of Gentle Persuasion

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole world? I mean, that thing you do just for you - because it just seems to make everything else in life "right"? Now imagine if that one thing were taken away from you suddenly. Possibly permanently.

What sort of mood might that put you in?

gentle

That one thing for me is running. Like Eric Liddel once said, "when I run I feel His pleasure." Maybe it's because I'm naturally very hyperactive and running just seems to calm my mind and spirit. Or maybe I was just born to run. But it's something I really enjoy, and something I like doing on my own or with a friend, out on a deserted country road or in the middle of a busy metropolis. I enjoy long runs especially. I'm one of those guys who thinks it's hardly worth lacing up unless it's going to be for at least 5 miles. Half marathons are just bliss to me, and I've even got a handful of marathons under my belt.

Get the picture?

But a couple of months ago, things changed. I developed some nagging injuries and had to stop running. At first I thought I could scale back, but that didn't work out so well. So, I've stopped. Entirely.

I haven't stopped exercising altogether. I've been to the gym a handful of times. Stationary rowing, cycling, stair climbing, and elliptical machines at least allow me some way to get in a calorie burn. But it's not running. I've also been cycling. And some of the guys I ride with are pretty intense cyclists, so I certainly get in a good calorie burn. But it's not running.

I'm usually one of those "silver lining" people. I can always find the good in just about anything, and I'm rarely down for long. But over the past several weeks my mood has been, well, deteriorating. You might even say I've bordered on depression.

A couple of days ago, I went home for lunch. What I really wanted to do was go for a run. But since that's not possible right now, I went home. And I just sat there. Didn't want to eat, didn't want to do anything.

Gentle Pursuit

My wife, Tiffany, had been at work that morning as well (we work in the same office, same department), and she was planning to go to the gym at lunch time. So I didn't expect to see her home, which was just fine with me. I wasn't much good to anyone anyway.

But then she came home, and obviously hadn't been to the gym. She went to the kitchen saying how she decided get some things started for dinner and might go to the gym later. Then she said she was going to make herself something to eat, did I want something too? Sure, why not. Then she asked if I'd like to go to the gym with her. Well, guess I could. At least I'd get some sort of exercise.

In essence, my wife changed her plans and went out of her way to include me in what she was doing when in fact she really didn't have to. Her God-given intuition told her I was on the brink of a deep sadness. And through her thoughtful, intentional actions, my mood was changed entirely!

Sure, it was more of the stationary bike and the elliptical that day, which would not be my preference. But it was with my wife, who took the time and effort to demonstrate love and consideration for me, solely for my benefit, just when I needed it. She gave up a little of her self, and adjusted her schedule - all for my benefit. It wasn't some flamboyant gesture, just gentle persuasion  - right when I needed it most. And that made all the difference.

An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. ~Proverbs 31:10 LOOKING FORWARD TO THE NEXT ART OF MARRIAGE! Join us September 5-6 at Faith Fellowship in Kinston! 

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