Photo from Gallery of Fine Art America
Feature Entry: Paracletic Walking and Dieting—Discerning Together
The MoneyWalker’s blog is in part, an attempt to practice paracletic walking and weight control. The ancient word paracletic is scriptural and is frequently called the Paracletic Canon, or discerning together. While the MoneyWalker prefers solo walking, he gains strength of purpose by sharing his walks with others. In his book “Practice Resurrection”, Eugene Peterson opines that we humans “...need heart to heart talks, soul to soul talks, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers to hear our confession, cry with us, encourage us, and hold us accountable.” By blogging about exercise, weight loss and maintenance, and the motivation to sustain these positive habits, the MoneyWalker is practicing paracletic cannon.
Paracletic walking as a topic occurred on a recent walk. On an earlier walk, I had found a full pack of Salem cigarettes, about a four dollar value. The moral dilemma followed, trash them or give them away. I opted to give them to one of the numerous “brotherhood of the street” members in the neighbourhood. The brother selected was right out of central casting—unshaved, matted hair, soiled clothes, etc. I knew he was a smoker from previous observations. I spotted him in his usual haunt, nodded our acquaintance, retrieved the Salems, and asked, “Would you like these?” He smiled, then shocked me with his response: “I can’t use that brand.”
We moved on with my mind trying to understand his incredible discernment. Then as often happens during walking, I quizzed myself as to why the word discernment popped into my mind to define his choice to refuse my gift. Why wasn’t this homeless and penniless person eager to accept this significant gift? It wasn’t his lack of perspicacity; it was his quick judgment and discrimination of brand that produced the descriptive “discernment.” And it was his use of words that triggered my several blocks of reflective thinking. When he said, “I can’t use that brand.” he indicated a sophistication of thought processing. Poverty or no, the gentleman obviously doesn’t like menthol cigarettes and possessed the language skills to clearly and succinctly communicate his position. For the MoneyWalker, another stereotype bit the dust.
Now, back to the theme of the blog—Paracletic Walking and weight control. The episode resulted in a thought journey that linked discernment to the strength that is gained when we discern together. The Holiday season is a landmine filled with tempting negative food choices and reasons to forgo exercise habits. But together, we can encourage one another to hold our resolve. When we post our temptations and admit our frailties of purpose, we are following Peterson’s advice to seek “soul to soul talks” with like minded travelers.
It is the holiday season; for walkers it is a time to discern the bad choices and opt for the good ones. It will be easier if we do it together.
Journal Entry Summaries November 16 through November 29, 2010 with seven reports included; averages and grand totals where appropriate for body weight, coinage found, glass bottles, and ground scores.
Weight Average: 174.5 lbs.
Coinage: $9.71 total
Coinage Average: $1.62
Total Pennies found: 295 Pennies Average: 42
Total Nickels found: 18 Nickels Average: 2.6
Total Dimes found: 27 Dimes Average: 3.9
Total Quarters found: 20 Quarters Average:2.9
Total Glass bottles: 66 Glass bottle Ave:11
Total Ground Scores: 24 Ground Score Ave: 6