I Need Less Talk And More Walk

Life’s Simple Guide To God is turning out to be a creepy book.  Seriously, I’m getting jumpy and starting to look over my shoulder so often that my neck is getting stiff.  It’s like the authors have a window into my mind and wrote this book just for me.  I know that sounds egocentric, but the world is flat and all roads lead to ME, right? [For those who haven’t grasped my humor, this was my unruly sarcasm coming through.]

Okay, I’m back.  I was having trouble coming up with a topic for my Sunday post.  I thought I’d write about the women’s retreat I went to a couple weeks ago, but right now, none of the topics are begging to be written.  I opened up my Life’s Simple Guide To God book and flipped a couple pages (I haven’t read it for several days) and found this subject:  Practice More Walk, Less Talk.

In this topic, the authors point out that while our words are good, they are not enough.  If we encourage others to put their faith in God, our lives should reflect that we have put our trust in God.  If we tell others that we should love each other, but don’t follow through by loving people in our lives, then we are hypocrites and our words are diluted, if not meaningless.

This is so true – our actions do have so much more impact than our words.  With my kids, I am constantly talking to them about manners.  I remind them to say “please”, “thank you” and “you’re welcome”; scold them for interrupting; lecture them that burping doesn’t belong at the table; and nag them to use napkins instead of their shirts.  Still, in nearly every social situation, they need a nudge to shift their manners into gear. 

A few weeks ago, we took the kids to a theme park.  I spent most of the day in the kiddie section with my younger son.  I noticed that many of the ride operators looked bored and that not many people acknowledged them, so I made a point to say “thank you” as we exited each ride.  To my surprise, my younger son started saying “thank you” after a couple rides.  I practiced the walk with my manners, and he took notice – more so than me telling him to be polite. 

Kindness Can Brighten Someone's Day

After I returned home from the women’s retreat, I was so excited to read more of the scriptures that were referenced, continue with my reading of Matthew in the Bible, and possibly learn more about myself.  I learned more about myself all right.

I discovered that I’m a lazy procrastinator.  Well, to be honest, that’s not a complete surprise – procrastination runs in the family, along with stubbornness and diabetes.  Now, if I can’t make time to do these things I really wanted to do, you can imagine where this leaves the tasks I don’t want to do, right?

I’ve talked about embarking on this spiritual journey, but this week, it was all talk – there was no walking.  I felt farther from God than I have in a long time.  I’m left with a vague sense of failure because this week, I let others’ negativity bring me down, my patience went missing, I worried about the state of the world and spoke in anger – and I did this all by myself.  At no point did I say a prayer and ask God for strength, patience, peace or understanding.

Acknowledging failure is the first step to unburden myself from it.  I truly dislike the idea of scheduling every detail of my day, but I’ve seen that left to my own devices, important things won’t get accomplished.  So that my spiritual journey doesn’t stall, I’m going to have to schedule reading and reflection time every night. 

I don’t expect perfection from myself, but I do challenge myself to put forth my best effort (which I did not do this past week).  I won’t dwell on this because I look down this past week’s long tunnel of failure, and beyond that, I see the hope of next week and the opportunity to be a better “me.”

How do you get yourself “right” after a week that’s gone “wrong?”


14 thoughts on “I Need Less Talk And More Walk

  1. Aligaeta April 10, 2011 / 6:45 AM

    Awareness is the key to change. I too, find procrastination to be my greatest flaw.

    You are a wonderful woman. I look forward to hearing your reflections on the women’s retreat. I’ve only been on one such retreat and it was an incredible experience.

    • jannatwrites April 10, 2011 / 8:06 PM

      Thank you for your kind words, Aligaeta. The retreat was wonderful – my friend had a couple of breakthrough moments, and we both met new friends. We may go again next year, depending on the timing of it.

  2. nrhatch April 10, 2011 / 12:10 PM

    Each day is a new opportunity to “get it right.”

    We can’t change the past. It’s “water over the dam.” But we can strive to make the most of the time we have remaining.

    • jannatwrites April 10, 2011 / 8:12 PM

      That’s a great way to think about it Nancy. Even though I know that each day is chance to live better, I have to admit that I sometimes think too much about my failures, which slows down the “moving on” part. I’m working on that, too 🙂

  3. Carol Ann Hoel April 10, 2011 / 1:50 PM

    Great post, Janna. The first battle I fight is the one that I must win. I must not wallow in my failures or beat myself with them. Since God forgives me, I decide I am loved and will smile and be glad. Once I win that battle, the way has been cleared for success.

    I agree with Nancy. “Each day is a new opportunity to ‘get it right.'”

    Your post shows that you have the right attitude, Janna. You are both humble and secure in who you are, and determined to please God. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites April 10, 2011 / 8:17 PM

      I can relate, Carol. I sometimes replay mistakes over and over in my head, as some sort of self-punishment.

      I never thought about God’s forgiveness playing a role in how I handle “stumbles” but it makes sense. Thanks for pointing it out 🙂

  4. Debbie April 10, 2011 / 5:11 PM

    God never promised us a rose garden, did He? He only promised us that He’d give us strength for one day at a time. I think that’s what the Lord’s Prayer petitions — “give us this day our daily bread.” Can’t be storing up “bread” for the morrow; can’t worry about “bread” that happened yesterday. One step at a time. I love how honest and humble you were with this post!

    • jannatwrites April 10, 2011 / 8:22 PM

      Well, he sure didn’t promise us a rose garden, but there’s no shortage of thorns!

      I like how you brought in the Lord’s Prayer. You are right – he does give us what we need each day. I hope that a daily reflection will allow me to move on, rather than continue to ruminate over a misstep that cannot be changed – only learned from. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Debbie 🙂

  5. 1959duke April 10, 2011 / 5:13 PM

    I first started to respond to this early this morning about that time my wife said she wanted to go to Target and wanted to know if I wanted to go along. Anything that gets me out of the house sounds good to me!
    It is tough to walk the walk. I think one of the issues we all face is that its not always the most popular thing to do.

    • jannatwrites April 10, 2011 / 8:33 PM

      Ha! I hope you had fun at Target 🙂 I remember when my husband and I were dating and I had the chicken pox. He needed to go to Costco, so I begged him to pick me up and take me with him, just so I could be outside. Of course, I sat in the car while he shopped, but it was still out of my 300 sq. ft. studion apartment!

      I agree that walking the walk is hard, Duke. It’s way too easy to get sucked into negativity or say something unkind, and so difficult to walk away.

  6. Tori Nelson April 10, 2011 / 6:47 PM

    My mom always told me just to focus on the “next right thing”. One step forward and that is progress!

    • jannatwrites April 10, 2011 / 8:34 PM

      Your mom is smart, Tori. The next right thing…I like that. The icky ‘failure’ feeling is easing up on me, so Monday is a great day to find the next right thing. (That may be all Monday is good for :))

  7. widdershins April 10, 2011 / 11:13 PM

    Let it go. Do whatever it takes to learn from the experience, apologise, fix the mistake, etc, then, detach your personality, ego, sense of ‘unfair’, whatever it was and simply let the past go.

    Humans are the only critters on this planet who constantly punish themselves, over and over again, sometimes for years, for our past actions. We constantly rehash the past, perhaps with this forlorn hope that if we relive the experience sufficiently, the outcome might be different. Or perhaps we are so conditioned to a’punishment’ theme that we become adept at being our own punishers. Lets be honest, no-one gives us a bad time more that we give ourselves.

    Why do we do that? What do we need to do to break that sort of deeply embedded conditioning?

    Kick back with a cup of tea or the beverage of choice and ponder why we hold on to the past once the lesson is learned, even if it’s the thing we did a minute ago. Is it a means to escape the present and all the threads that connect us to where we are at this very moment? It certainly enables us to avoid the future and all the threads that draw us forward.

    And just think of all the energy we use dwelling on the past. Imagine if we pulled all those threads from the past and planted them securely in this moment or wove them towards what we want to manifest in the future … what an interesting concept… must put the kettle on for a cuppa and ponder.

    • jannatwrites April 11, 2011 / 8:14 PM

      Wow, your comment was terrific, Widdershins! You are so right that our energy is better spent put towards the now and worked into the future than dwelling in past mistakes/misery. I also agree that we are often harsher with ourselves than others. I’ve had instances where I realized after a conversation ended that I said something that could’ve been taken wrong. When I talked to the person later, they looked at me like I was nuts because they couldn’t remember me saying anything offensive.

      I feel better today (I’d say ‘normal’ but I’m not normal…) I think I’ll have that cup of tea anyway because it sounds great right now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts; I enjoyed reading your perspective 🙂

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