10,000 steps a day. That’s the magic number. 10,000 steps. I have not hopped on the Fitbit (or the iWatch or the Garmin) bandwagon. One, I’m not drawn toward technology – it tends to frustrate and scare me – and two, I already employ a fitness regimen that has served me well for years. I am, however, a proponent of the accountability and assistance afforded by these gadgets. Many a soul has strapped these micro-marvels to their wrists and found themselves walking 10,000 steps a day. According to a 2010 study (and decades of Japanese intuition), walking 10,000 steps a day will lower BMI (body mass index), reduce waist size, increase energy, and lessen risk for Type II diabetes and heart disease. That’s not a bad trade for 10,000 steps a day.

I have not hopped on the ‘10,000 steps a day’ craze because I have no need. I have, however, hopped on the ‘12 Step’ craze. I had (and have) a need. Years ago, someone I love admitted they had the disease of addiction. I tried every way I could to control and cure her disease. I could no more control or cure addiction than I could have controlled or cured leukemia or diabetes or a common cold. My efforts did little to improve the condition of the one I loved…and over time, the quality of my own life and health began to diminish. I decided to take 12 Steps. Over time – and with some daily practice – they restored a measure of health, sanity and serenity to my life.

Almost all of us know and love someone who lives with the disease of addiction. (I’ve had a few people tell me they know no one with the disease. This has to be a falsehood, a denial or a marvelous miracle…I’m hoping for the latter.) If you are struggling to love someone who has this disease, the 12 Steps will be of assistance to you, and if you aren’t, they still provide a wonderful guide in “…all our affairs.” I shared my story this past Wednesday evening at MidWeek Fellowship. This week, we begin walking the steps together. There are only 12 – not 10,000. Come join us this Wednesday evening at 6:15 (earlier if you make a supper reservation) in the Fellowship Hall as we ‘Journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Addiction.’ You’ll be glad you did.

— Jim

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