I like reading the paper. It’s part of my morning ritual, right there with having my morning coffee and doing dog chores. My wife and I have a routine when we read the paper, not a routine as much as a system. I usually get up a little earlier than she does, but by the time I start the coffee, go out and do dog chores, and hike out to the street (not really a hike, more of a 100 yard jaunt) to get the paper, she is up and enjoying her first cup before heading off to work. Therefore, we read it at the same time and need a system in who reads what section when. Today was no different, she starts with the front page section and I get the local… and so on.
So how is this relevant to spiritual fitness and my ministry work? Well today we were a little off sync. When that happens I go to the Sports section, which she doesn’t read, and I usually just skim. Except on days like today when I have some “paper time” to kill. So I read with a little more depth. And here lays (or is it “lies”) the message. When you go a little deeper, a little more deliberately into whatever it is you are doing, sometimes you uncover something that brings you some joy and happiness. In this case it was a really nice memory.
I was reading about Jim Thome and where he will end up playing next year. (For those who don’t know, he’s a great baseball player who spent last year with the Twins.) Towards the end of the article by Joe Christensen there was the following paragraph:
“The biggest home run of the Twins season came Aug. 17, when Thome hit a two-run, lead-changing, game-ending blast off White Sox lefthander Matt Thornton.”
Minneapolis StarTribune 12/03/10, Photo by Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune.
And we were there! All five of us! Me, my wife, my 24 year old from Alaska, my 21 year old form Minneapolis and my 14 year old still living at home. We were all there on a beautiful summer night, extra innings, outdoor baseball, and a walk-off homer that landed about 20 feet from where we sat in the right field bleachers! It really was a great night together.
Now, I hadn’t thought about that night for quite some time. It was a great memory, but we get busy and our lives get cluttered and we tend to forget all the good stuff that we experience, the stuff that feeds our souls with happiness and joy. The stuff that keeps us spiritually fit. But this morning, by going a little deeper into our simple routines of life, my soul was fed and I’m a little healthier today because of it. (And I hope Thome comes back again next year!)