Posted in Family, friends, gratitude, life, priorities, Scripture, thankful

The Treadmill – Friend or Foe

What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31

They say that outlook is everything. Some people are always asking, “is the glass half full or half empty?” I just want to know what’s in the glass.  I remember a great story about two salesmen.  One was sent to the wilds of Africa to sell shoes.  He arrived and pretty quickly sent this message to the company headquarters: “Bring me home immediately. No opportunity. No one here wears shoes. Waste of time.”  So they brought the guy home.  Not wanting to give up, they sent another salesman.  This guy arrived on the scene and also quickly sent a message to the company headquarters.  It read, “Please respond as quick as you can.  Opportunities abound everywhere.  Everyone is barefoot and needs shoes.  Send all that you have…what a future.” Well I guess they are right.  It all depends on your outlook.

Like many folks, my wife Judy and I have a treadmill in our home.  It sits downstairs where Judy has her office. The treadmill and I on occasion have been very good friends, however, we just don’t see eye to eye.  He wants me to get on and walk ferociously and go absolutely nowhere. I prefer to walk outside and actually move. Now if it is pouring down rain or ten degrees below freezing that is fine—we are buds.  But on a normal day, well, we just agree to disagree. He thinks we should get together every day. I’m thinking more like only when absolutely necessary.  Frankly, and don’t tell him I said this, our relationship was always kinda painful.  He sees himself as a path to being healthy…my new BFF. I see him as someone out of one of those torture movies where some guy named Egor is always tightening the screws.

We have a couple of grandchildren that really like the treadmill.  For years and even now, when they come over to the house one of their inevitable questions is, “Papa, can we get on the treadmill?”  I mean, what’s the deal?  What I try to avoid they openly embrace.  One day I asked Judy, “What’s up with the treadmill–why do they love it so much?”  Well, her thought was the “no” factor.  Because the answer was frequently no, they keep asking. It could be that it is the “thrill” factor.  You know, maybe the thrill of it all.  Maybe, just maybe, it is something totally different.

My theory is that instead of seeing it as a device for torture, they see it like a toy–like something that is fun. They will turn it down real slow and allow it to carry them from the front to the back.  They will see how fast they can go and not get ejected. (Now don’t call Family Services—we keep an eye on them.) And sometimes…they just walk. Now honestly, they really don’t use it for its intended purpose (which by the way is torture) but as something that they can jump on or off, that they can ride (howbeit short)—maybe an adventure.

I’m probably stretching it here, but I just wonder if I changed my attitude about my friend the treadmill, would we better enjoy our times together? What if I saw him as a partner and convenience and not the enemy?  It probably doesn’t matter much to him since he is an inanimate object getting walked on, but it would definitely be beneficial to me. I’m pretty consistent in my exercise but on those rainy days ahead my friend could be a help in keeping me healthy.  He fulfills his purpose (which by the way, is not to hang clothes on) and I make Judy happy by walking even more.  How about that?

Perspective can change just about everything. When we start seeing things through the lens of half full instead of half empty it might not only change our attitude but it just might make us a better person.  It could even change our relationship with God.  Too often we see Him as someone who is out to get us when instead, He is out to save us—to rescue us—to bless us. The Bible says, “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Imagine that…the God of Creation wants to be your new BFF or best friend forever.  Like our friend the treadmill, He is just waiting for us to make time for Him.  When we do we will discover that He wants to help us be a better version of ourselves. Go ahead, give Him a try.  Take a rest from the “going nowhere” rat-race and trust Him. He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne


Southern born. Love God, my wife, family, and a great adventure.

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