Physical and spiritual stretching

Shutterstock RunnerA frustrating heel pain recently sent my husband for a visit with the podiatrist. He was diagnosed with a common complaint called plantar fasciitis. For this condition, the doctor suggested devoting a few minutes each morning to simple calf stretches. I found the advice interesting, because I do calf stretches every day at the beginning of my Prayer Zone Workout. So this got me thinking: had my regular calf stretches kept me from a common condition, even without my realization? This surprising thought led me to consider spiritual stretching and what we can do to keep ourselves spiritually fit and healthy.

There is one obvious spiritual stretch that can be done each day. It only takes a few minutes, but can be of enormous benefit for our spiritual health during that day and for the longer term. This spiritual stretch is simply to read a scripture verse at the start of the day. I try to do this each morning, using a page-a-day calendar where every day a new paper reveals a verse of scripture.

For many years, my mother would annually purchase a calendar like this for me as a gift. And for many years, I didn’t really bother with it. Looking back, this was a time when my spiritual health was not a priority. But in more recent years I have bought and used the calendar regularly, and look forward to the inspiration it gives me each morning. This is my morning’s spiritual stretch. It is one easy way to acknowledge and listen to God at the start of the day. Many of the verses from this calendar make their way into my blue box and become the basis for the devotionals that I share with you.

Do you have a simple stretch that you do each morning to keep you spiritually healthy? If not, I encourage you to find one. The name of my calendar is Apples of Gold, but there are many like it. There are also devotionals such as Jesus Calling, which offer a brief meditation for every day of the year. An online option that is free of charge can be found on www.biblegateway.com, which always displays a verse of the day on its home page. Still another idea is to download a Bible app to your phone.

At 6:30 the other morning, my daughter was texting furiously. When I inquired whom she was contacting so early, she replied that three friends had agreed to take turns texting each other an encouraging scripture verse each morning—what a wonderful idea.

As with the stretches my husband is now doing for his heel, taking in bits of scripture each day offers benefits and protection we can’t afford to do without. So get going—enjoy your morning stretch!

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