Today, the first Sunday in a long as i can remember that i did not feel gross from eating the night before, straight off of a fast day and belly flat i went out for a morning run and could not believe the energy I had ! What a difference a weekend makes when not spent in gluttony!!! Typically on a weekend i allow myself to “indulge” which used to connote innocent picking at a challah or a slice of cake but has of late, ballooned into full blown non stop pigging out…. usually waking up to a bloated belly and not doing anything about it all day Sunday but lounge around until Monday.
Well, this morning, i took full advantage of my new found energy level and went out for my morning prayers. (ie: my long outdoor run in the most glorious weather and beautiful clear sky i swear every inch of sweat that drops from my body is a little bit of prayer to the Almighty ) i refer to my morning jogs with half jest but mostly half seriousness as i compare my time spent in synagogue yesterday reading through the ancient prayer book in the english translation and wondering to myself why i continue to repeat these words over and over again that make so little sense to me in the updated language so many thousands of years later. Part of the reason i continue to go to structured services is for the continuity of it all…my culture has withstood so many trials of purgatory and pain that who am i to deny practicing it now of my own free will? But as I stayed on my couch for the majority of the day i found myself wondering about the very reason i follow organized religion when i am so much so against it. I have more prayer in my heart running through my neighborhood and contemplating my blessings and appreciating Gds work of nature and my healthy body than i do sitting in a room listening to speeches.
So, this morning after rejoicing and giving full fledged thanks that my belly was not bloated from weekend eating , I had time to actually think about organized religion and what it means to me. (Mostly i spent the run thinking about the reason i allow myself to indulge every other weekend but thats for another blog post)
Let me take a step back and first inform you that i do not disagree with all that organized religion stands for, just parts of it.
I do believe that fasting has its merits and does humble a person enough to remind them there is a higher being that ultimately controls the universe and our lives. I just don’t need a prayer service to help me do so.
i do believe in organized sports yet in full irony my kids don’t like them at all and therefore i conclude that giving two athletes kids who don’t like organized sports as Gds retribution for not believing in organized religion. Tit for Tat. But i count my blessings, just not in synagogue and look at life as the miraculous cycle that it is.
I want to take this opportunity to remind us all that a NEw Year has begun which includes new beginnings or fresh starts so to speak, religiously and spiritually as well as physically and mentally. Thats a lot of “lly’s” going around so take it how you want to. For me it represents a cleansing period – a new year to become who you what to be. I always look forward to January first as the new fiscal year for business opportunity and a rest station coming off of Q4. But this time of year is for rejuvenation and spiritual connection which ultimately leads to PHYSICAL connection as the mind control all that our bodies do.
So happy New Year to all of you and here’s to new beginnings of all that mind over matter can do.
Take a long walk or run and allow yourself to pray outdoors, outside of the organized rituals and see what your mind can do when you have ALL of Gds work surrounding you. Even if you are not a believer in Gd you will still connect to nature on some level that feels – well, pious.