Friday, October 01, 2010


A short time ago the calendar turned another page and we slipped from September to October. October 1st means that it is just 86 days to Christmas, 92 days until 2010 comes to an end, and 1 yr, 3 mos, 6 days until I'm eligible to retire.

I'd certainly like to retire when I'm eligible. Realistically, three years of no raises has changed what I anticipated my retirement income would be based on. And the wonderful downturn in the economy has taken its toll on the retirement account. So perhaps it's time to take another look and figure out just what that income will be and how much we will need when the time comes. When it comes right down to it, the working conditions in Springfield have never been to the point of driving people away like conditions in some facilities have been. As far as working for a living goes, this is a pretty easy gig. The schedule is the most difficult part of the job and gets more so as time passes. I've made a slight change in my days off for 2011 and will be off on Sunday/Monday instead of Saturday/Sunday. With the number of young guys that are coming on and wanting to work the midshifts, I doubt that I'll continue to work two or three each week and will probably end up with a normal (for air traffic controllers) schedule of two evenings, two days and a mid each week.

At this point, I really don't know how that will affect ministry opportunities or anything else. I'll just have to see. The change in days off will also have me working with some different people for the year. I am looking forward to working more with some of the controllers that I haven't worked with much in the past few years.

I'll let you know how it all works out.

October is also going to bring a new, short term, body/mind/spirit renewal for me.

Starting today, for the next 40 days I am going to commit to dedicate a minimum of 30 minutes each day to each area: body, mind, spirit. I think that I can find the 1 1/2 hours to keep up with it.

For the body--30 minutes of exercise ... EVERY day. It can range from light--a brisk walk, to something heavier like the exercise bike, weight machine, Nordic Trac or exercise videos--as long as it's at least 30 minutes, every day. I'm also going to cut back to one main meal per day and maybe three snack sized meals--bowl of cereal, piece of fruit, salad, sandwich (not the foot long sub or Burger King Whopper size, just a normal sandwich!). It's only 40 days, right? I know that on occasion a snack might be a Jamocha shake from Arby's or a small bowl of ice cream, but all-in-all, I think that I can live with this for 40 days.

For the mind--30 minutes of non-fiction reading...EVERY day. Time wise this should be easy. I have more than enough break time at work to cover this. It will just be a matter of picking the books from a list of books that I need to read. In the past few years, my book reading has really diminished. That needs to change. Newspapers, magazines, internet news, current events--it all counts. I probably already do this most days, but I want to do it purposefully and with a plan. I'm not going to be an intellectual giant; I would just like to keep a well rounded intellect and be able to be conversant on most subjects with most people.

For the spirit--
...Wow. It's hard to put a time down when it comes to what I need for spiritual growth. Truthfully, 30 minutes every day isn't enough. The area of my spiritual life that I would really like to focus on for the next 40 days (the area that I really need to focus on) is my prayer life. Recently, I've been making notes as I read the Bible (posted some of those) and this helps me to hear God's message rather than just reading the words. I need to continue to do that but I don't want to really count that in with this 30 minutes of time for spiritual growth. I want for this 30 minutes to be time that I set aside to really focus on my God.
I want to focus on His Greatness, His Holiness, His Love. While I believe greatly in the power of intercessory prayer, I don't want this to be a time of bringing a shopping list of things that I desire for myself or for others. I want it to be a time of praise and worship. Yeah, that's it--

For the spirit--30 minutes set aside for the adoration and worship of my God...EVERY day.

Well, that's it then--forty days from now I should be a thinner, healthier, smarter person that loves and worships his God...EVERY day.



Amanda said...

This is a fantastic sounding plan! I might learn from you and try it out too. Although, I might have to break mine down to chunks of 15 mins...

Emily Langston said...

Great Plan.
Love the prayer.I need to do this too. Praising instead of our usual needs list brought to Him. Love your heart!

Anonymous said...

john, right on! hope you never stop seeking and that you find a way to move outside of the box which we so desperately want to contain God within.

Mike said...

"Burger King Whopper size"

I was wondering what to eat tonight.

Bandit said...

Is it your son that is attending the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago? I think it was Dwight L. Moody that would lie face down on the floor (every day for however long) to pray in all humility. Keep it up as reading your blog has been many times an inspiration for me.

John said...

Bandit, yes, it is my son at Moody...and thanks for the encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I always find getting out of the house to be conducive to prayer. I have 2 dogs that need walking and that helps. Too many distractions in the house. I like it at night when it's quiet, especially if the stars are out. The time flies by...