Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Envy of the Sleek and Sound

I wake up creaky some mornings. Sometimes it's because I've been a bit too ambitious with developing my exercise habits this year. Like last weekend, when an evening walk led to trash picking a mini-exercise bike and my test drive of this working exercise equipment gave me sore legs for most of the week. Many other times it is our "friend Arthur," as my mother would say. Why me? —I don't understand.
Because I envied the proud
and saw the prosperity of the wicked:

For they suffer no pain,

and their bodies are sleek and sound;

In the misfortunes of others they have no share;

they are not afflicted as others are.

I have been afflicted all day long,

and punished every morning.

When I tried to understand these things,

it was too hard for me;

Until I entered the sanctuary of God

and discerned the end of the wicked.

But it is good for me to be near God;

I have made the Lord God my refuge.

Psalm 73: 3-5, 14, 16, 28
According to one article I just read, I can improve the creakiness by eating. Foods containing high quantities of sulfur may help to reduce arthritis pain by decreasing joint inflammation. These foods include avocados, lentils, broccoli, cabbage, coconut, soy beans, and garlic.

Additionally turmeric, oregano, dandelion, grapple plant, myrrh and juniper have a history of relieving aches and pains. They interrupt the inflammation process and help to increase the circulation in the joints.

My thought: but what are those foods going to do the digestive system? Those foods are often hard to digest and cause gas. Do I trade creaks for rumbles?
Maybe the sleek and sound don't worry about such things.

I know that I can also exacerbate the creakiness by eating, particularly from the nightshade family: potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and spinach.
I suspect I'm not alone.

Do we really know someone, anyone who suffers no pain of any kind, who is not afflicted at all? I don't think so. But there are times I certainly get so involved in my own aches and pains that I don't have much sympathy for anyone else, until I "enter the sanctuary of God," that is, until I allow God's presence to be the filter for my awareness, and then I realize that the "wicked" come to an end in their own afflictions just like the rest of us.

God, be our refuge. Give us strength. Your strength helps us bear our aches and pains. Help us remember:
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psalm 46:1
Here is a favorite choral setting of Psalm 46:1 as a musical reminder of that. It'll shake away your aches and creaks.

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