Walking on the Best Surface

Before my wife started having severe arthritis in one knee, we used to walk outside in the neighborhood whenever weather permitted and we had sufficient daylight. That allowed us to walk our miniature dachshund, Happy. Believe it or not, those short little legs did a great job of doing a full two-mile walk!

Unfortunately, I also have a problem that can make walking uncomfortable at times–never so extreme that I can’t walk, but bad enough to be conscious of while walking. And that slows me down. It’s been more of a issue since they paved our street a few years ago. The surface is hard, and each time I put my foot down I can feel the pain.

I do a lot of my walking at the mall now. Even though there’s concrete underneath, at least the top surface is covered with tile. Just a slight improvement over the street when it comes to reducing the pain. But even that slight improvement allows me to walk a little faster, and that’s good.

We recently joined the Y so my wife can swim. I go with her, not to swim–I’ve never learned how–but to walk. Our Y has a wonderful walking/running track overlooking the gym area. Sixteen times around equals a mile, and that eliminates a lot of guesswork regarding how fast I’m going.



The best feature of the Y’s walking track is the floor. It’s not spongy, but it’s definitely a body-friendly semi-soft material. Walking on it, I can do my two miles in thirty minutes without any problems. And without my pain being more than barely noticeable. Whoever designed the Y’s walking track to provide the safest and most pleasant walking surface knew what they were doing.

However, I know of one place that will provide even better walking facilities. and that’s Heaven.

The idea of streets of gold–that’s how the Bible describes Heaven as having–might not sound very appealing to walkers. After all, gold may be a very soft metal–especially pure gold–but would it be more comfortable to walk or run on than the Y?

I can’t answer that question from personal experience. But since the Bible assures us that Heaven is a perfect place– free from sin, pain, and all types of unpleasantness–I’m not worried about those golden streets. Since I won’t be bothered by my pain there, what difference will it make?

I’ll be too absolutely thrilled about Heaven’s perfection to even remember my former pain.

Do you have something you especially look forward to in Heaven’s perfectness? How about sharing a comment?

I’ll be back again next Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

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A Pleasantly Unexpected Answer to Prayer

I’ve been a Christian more than fifty years, and I’ve believed strongly in the power of prayer ever since surviving acute viral encephalitis in the eighth grade and learning that many people–including people who didn’t even know me or my parents–had been praying for me.

I don’t doubt the power of prayer, but I recognize that God has the knowledge of everything going on here on earth and that some prayers are in accordance with His will at the time, while others must wait until the time He deems best. Then there are prayers which He simply is unwilling, in His infinite wisdom, to answer at all.

The answers to prayer fall into the categories of “Yes,” “Wait,” or “No.”

For several years I have been praying for relief from a particular pain that the specialist hadn’t been able to determine the source of–or to help me get rid of it. He even performed a minor surgical procedure in the hopes that removing a particular item that had some cysts might help, but it didn’t. Major disappointment.

Not one to give up easily, he had an MRI done earlier this year. Everything looked normal except for one very small hernia. He seemed confident that pain from the hernia had radiated to the nearby area where I could really feel it. He told me I could either have the hernia repaired–that didn’t seem like a very pleasant prospect–or go see a pain management specialist.

I was torn. So I started praying about which way to go. Specifically, I prayed that God would do something to make clear which choice would be the best one. I’ve been praying that prayer for many months now. I felt that an answer was near. But what was it?

Flash forward to last Sunday night. After getting home from church and having a light supper, I almost immediately started having severe chest and abdominal pains. Stronger than anything I could recall ever having had before. Although I didn’t have any other heart attack symptoms, that was still the first thing that came to mind. After waiting a little while to see if the pain would lessen, I shared my concerns with my wife, and she drove me to the ER.

The ER doctor quickly confirmed that my heart was fine. He thought my acid reflux was no longer responding to the medicine I’ve been taking for a number of years and gave me a new prescription. A “GI cocktail” gave me relief from the pain, and we headed home three hours later.

I went to see my primary care physician the next day. He thought it might be an intestinal bug and gave me samples and a prescription for something to help with the pain if it flared up again.

I had been home only a few minutes when his nurse called. He’d been thinking about it some more and wanted me to have an ultrasound ASAP. I had that on Tuesday afternoon, and–sure enough–the problem was my gall bladder.

On Thursday I had an appointment with the surgeon my PCP wanted me to use. This guy was great! When I mentioned the little hernia to him, he said he can repair that when he removes the gall bladder!

Can you believe it? I’d been praying for a sign about which way to go about the hernia, and now it’s become a non-issue. I can hardly wait for the laparoscopic  surgery–too bad I have a writers conference to attend before I can have it done. But I feel so strongly that this is God’s way of guiding me gently into the best possible of solutions that it’s going to be a real pleasure to replace those prayers for His help with praise for His loving care.

What about you? Have you ever prayed for something that turned out to have an unexpected outcome? How about sharing in a comment?

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

When Sleep Isn’t Restful

I have a problem. Okay, I know you do, too. And I hope yours is less of a nuisance.

Nuisance? Mine has gotten to be more than just a nuisance the past year or two. Makes me feel like maybe I am “aging gracelessly.”

Here’s the backstory…

My wife and I normally start heading for bed around 9:00 p.m. She reads for a while, and I close out my day by praying. So I fall asleep quite restfully.

At least I used to. But I have a mystery pain–after a surgical procedure we hoped would alleviate it, my doctor hopes it’ll still go away if I live long enough–that requires me to find the perfect way to lie down in order to be comfortable. I may start out on my back, my front, or my right side. My left side is usually–but not always–a bad choice. But then I often need to make a few small adjustments. Suffice it to say that one night’s perfect position may be exactly the wrong one the next night.

Once I get into position, however, I’m able to pray myself to sleep.

I normally need to get up at least a couple of times during the night. Hey, I’m a sixty-nine-year-old man. Enough said about that. Most of the time I don’t have much trouble getting back to sleep, although I do need to find a new most-comfortable position if I’m awake enough.

I take a very mild prescription medicine to help me sleep better. Although it’s supposed to be taken at bedtime, it’s more effective if taken after midnight. Otherwise, the effects don’t last long enough. It doesn’t make me groggy, thank goodness. It simply helps to keep my mind from fretting about ridiculous things I wouldn’t even think about if  fully awake.

On weekdays we get up at 6:30. We get up whenever we want to on Saturdays and at 7:30 on Sundays. So I spend a minimum of nine hours in bed, most of them asleep. I do tend to dream a lot, though.

So what’s the problem? Uh, did you read the title of this blog post? Oh, but of course you did.

Very rarely do I feel well rested. And it’s even worse if I attend a church function or do anything away from home the night before, even though I still get to bed well before 10:00. I feel even more wiped out the next day than usual.

What about sleep apnea, some of you ask? Excellent question.

I USED to have sleep apnea, which resulted not only in fatigue, but also caused me to snore intolerably, not to mention making me periodically stop breathing for a number of seconds, which always made my poor wife worry about whether I was ever going to start again.

So I had a sleep study done and ended up using a CPAP machine for several years. But I had to sleep on my back because of the type of mask I wore. Having to go to sleep on my back occasionally to accommodate my mystery pain isn’t bad, but having to sleep that way all the time back then got to be too much. So I used the CPAP less and less, and it currently resides in its travel case under the bed.

After intentionally losing fifty pounds, my apnea symptoms disappeared. My wife says I seldom snore anymore, and I never have any of those non-breathing spells. The only sleep apnea symptom that remains is the next-morning fatigue after an otherwise restful night’s sleep–not counting those irritating dreams, of course.

I keep telling myself to go to the doctor and see what he suggests, but that would take too much energy. And what if it’s something serious? Do I really want to know?

Hmm. Better to know for sure that something’s bad than to fret about it, huh?

Okay. I’ll go see the doctor. One of these days. In the meantime, I promise I’ll try to quit complaining. To my readers, anyhow.

What do you think? Any doctors in the house–arm chair type or medically trained? Or anyone experiencing similar problems? How about leaving a comment?



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Best regards,