A work-based exercise challenge beckons me from bed for a walk on a chilly winter’s morning. 10,000 steps a day—being an office worker that’s not always easy to achieve!
I set out and look around. Two plovers watch warily at the top of my driveway, three magpies on a roof warble their morning chorus, gerberas stand proudly along a garden’s edge, the crisp whiteness of a snowflake bush in all its glory.
The step counter reads 359.
The valley is rimmed by mountains, the lower hills dotted with cows, flocks of lorikeets fly overhead before landing on a bottlebrush tree, fellow walkers call out a cheery greeting, pigeons coo their morning song.
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” (Psalm 96:11,12).
A white carpet under a gardenia hedge, the lilac splash of a lavender bush, the dairy cows grazing in the paddock, the chattering of the willie wagtail, the fire engine red of a poinsettia, the small brown birds hopping amongst the branches, the orangey-pink tinge of the clouds.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).
"By beholding we become changed."
Walking up a steep incline, I look down and notice other things. The Maccas rubbish lying in the gutter, 1153 steps. The remnants of a squashed toad, rotting fruit dropped by bats, the rank smell of the dairy farm, 1236 steps. The dirty ibis skulking for scraps, the dog that won’t stop barking, waking the neighbourhood, 1385 steps. Thoughts of washing, dishes and school lunches awaiting me, dead stalks of last season’s agapanthus, 1498 steps, puff puff.
The constant drone of early morning commuters reminds me I will soon be joining them and the challenges ahead at work today. But wait! By beholding we become changed
(2 Corinthians 3:18).
How do you start your day? In life, generally, we find what we look for. “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).
The sun peeks over the edge of the clouds . . . a new day has dawned. 2497 steps . . . a good start. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! (Psalm 118:24).
Melinda Southon writes from Murwillumbah, NSW, where she lives with her husband and two children.