Eating and exercising in a coronavirus world, the new normal


Playl's Ponderings - By Steve Playl

Katie Grace was on the phone. That’s always exciting. This time she sounded a bit tired and, perhaps, just a tad discouraged.

“Where are you, K.G.?” I asked...brightly, I thought.

No answer from the usually bubbly 6-year-old. Then, after a brief pause, “I’m tired.”

“We’ve been to K38,” her mom, our daughter, picked up the conversation. “We’re on our way home now with takeout.”

“Oh! That sounds great Katie Grace. Did you get a cheese bowl?”


K38 Baja Grill is K.G.’s favorite restaurant, and a cheese bowl (cheesy dipping sauce with nacho chips) is her favorite item on the menu. My stinking cute granddaughter’s lack of enthusiasm puzzled me.

Shannon continued, “We walked to the cafe from home, and now we are walking back.”

That explained a lot! The drive from their house to K38 takes a couple minutes, but the hike, round trip of about a mile-and-a-half, is pretty strenuous for little legs that have been playing in the back yard all day.

“Oh...” I repeated myself with more understanding. “How far are you from home?”

“We’re almost there.” Mom was still carrying the conversation. “I can see the yard from here.”

That meant that when they called, they had already walked nearly the full mile-and-a-half. At least they were attempting to balance their intake of calories with exercise.

For most folks, our eating and exercise routines have been disrupted over the past several weeks. With “stay at home orders” from our leaders, many of us have been tempted to eat more, while sitting around wondering how much longer until the “Y” opens up again. Unless we are very disciplined, we have likely put on a few pounds...I know I have. I try to walk the dog regularly, and we have tried to watch what we eat, but our world is different now.

Scripture has much to say about what we eat and drink, but Jesus said that what comes out of our mouth is more important than what we put into it. Scripture also teaches that bodily exercise is important, but spiritual exercise is even more important. Take advantage of the restrictions that have been imposed on us and spend time with God in prayer and in his Word.

Remember that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear...” Take advantage of the interruptions to “ still and know that God is God and He will be exalted among the nations.”

As restaurants and gyms begin opening across the nation, on a limited basis, taking sensible precautions, we will hopefully see things begin the return to a sense of normalcy. The trip home may seem like a very long hike, and we are definitely not on a stroll through our familiar neighborhood, but we must plod along. And as we walk along, let’s be sure to walk - and talk - with our Heavenly Father.

In the meantime, pray for businesses and employees who have been affected by the shut-downs, and look for ways to show God’s love, while maintaining social distancing. Meditate on how you can serve God and others. Pray for our leaders who are faced with unbelievable decisions and pray that we will learn to “get along with each other.”

Steve Playl, chaplain, columnist, college instructor and former pastor,  


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