| PREPARED |

PREPARED

We all try our hand at working out. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out but at other times it does. One moment we are up and the next moment we are down. Well, this moment I’m UP and I’m working on staying that way. My workout routine encompasses walking at least one hour a day, six days a week. For years I’ve tried to practice this way of living. I must admit that I was more diligent when I first started about seven years ago then I am now.

When I first decided to walk daily my brother and I walked together. Having a partner when first starting out really helps you to stay committed. When they are ready to give up you can motivate them and when you are ready to give up they can motivate you.

My brother and I would wake up early mornings in order to start walking at 4am. Yes, that early. Rain, snow or moonlight we were out there. Usually on the weekend we would alter the time to about 7 or 8am since we didn’t have to be at work. One Sunday morning we saw an older guy out for his morning walk too. As we approached each other I noticed that he was carrying a stick. This wasn’t a small stick from a tree that you could snap in your hand or over your knee. His stick was more like a small log. Small enough for him to carry in his hand but thick enough that if you were hit with it that you’d be laying on the concrete.

As we got closer we greeted each other with a nod and a smile. We moved in even closer and he stopped.

“Y’all walk everyday?” He asked.

“Yes,” we responded.

“There are a lot of dogs out here unattended so always walk with a stick. You never know when you’ll need it.” He held his stick up and continued walking.

It made sense now. I immediately thought back to seeing my father out walking with his walking stick. In fact I think it wasn’t a stick at all. It was a small pipe approximately 4 feet long with grey duct tape wrapped around it. Perhaps he had been attacked before therefore a wooden stick didn’t work for him.

In fact, growing up I recalled seeing many old people walking with a “walking stick”. I never bothered to ask why, but just assumed that they needed help walking.

The next morning before leaving the house at 4am my brother was sure to grab one of his golf clubs just in case. For a little over one year, one hour per day, six days a week that golf club accompanied us each time we walked.

Five years later I’m back to walking more frequently like my brother and I use too. These days though I walk by myself since my brother lives 8 hours away. The neighborhood I walk in now has plenty of dogs. I can hear the growls and barks of them as I walk up and down the hills each morning. At this one particular house there is a big black dog in the front yard with no owner in sight. The yard is not fenced in and the dog is not on a chain. He roams freely from the front porch to the drive way. Perhaps the yard has the invisible electrical fence. One morning as I walked by, on the opposite side of the street of course, I expected the dog to bark as he always does but he didn’t. Maybe he saw my “protection stick”. You better believe it! I carry that golf club proudly and ready to use it if need be.

In fact, I’m starting to see more walkers walking with their “protection sticks”. Seeing all these people walking with their “protection sticks” remind me of Ephesians 6:13. It says, “…You need to get God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil, you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing” (Easy Read Version).

The armor of God is the Christians protection against the devil. The devil doesn’t attack us always but when he does we must be prepared. In order to be prepared we must read the Word of God (Bible) daily. With each word we read the more reliable and stronger our armor will be when it’s time for it to be tested.

Putting on the the full armor of God simply means that as Christians we are building our relationship with God daily through His Word (Bible).

How strong are you standing up against that issue that you are facing right now? Do you feel like you are being defeated? Read Ephesians 6: 10-17 to see what the full armor of God is. Meditate on it and ask God to help you put His armor on daily. He doesn’t want us to go through life without it.

I haven’t had to use my “protection stick” yet and honestly I don’t want to have to use it. But when I need to I definitely will. I am prepared. Are you? #LivingTheLife

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