I wear a pedometer every day. The small device from my health insurance provider can be attached to your belt or shoe and can be carried in your pocket. It counts the steps you take and when the data is uploaded to a computer it measures the distance and calories burned.

This little gadget is reminder to remain active and there are rewards if you reach certain targets. The financial incentives encourage me to be conscious of my activity level. They motivate me to achieve at least the minimal goals.

The digital device does not make me more active. It simply provides information that raises my awareness and thus encourages me to keep moving.  And that helps me to be healthier- which is the real reason for the pedometer.

There are a lot of things in life that serve the same purpose of offering information that reminds and rewards.

After a good year in kindergarten, my youngest child became resistant to the idea of school. He would cause quite a fuss the moment you pulled into the driveway to drop him off for first grade classes. This became a great source of frustration until one day I came up with an idea that proved to be a stroke of genius.

As we entered the driveway of the school I was prepared for the usual argument and his refusal to get out of the car. Then I suggested, “If you get out of the car and don’t make a scene, I will pick you up this afternoon and we will go to the Dairy Queen and get a blizzard.” Magically (or miraculously) it worked. He got out of the car with no fuss. Regular reminders that good behavior has its rewards (I really like Blizzards) established a weekly ritual that lasted for several years.

I wear a gold band around the third finger on my left hand. Lena slipped it on my finger during our marriage ceremony on December 28, 1968. It has been a silent reminder of my commitment to her for over 42 years. Our marriage would be just as valid without that wedding ring but it is a constant and conscious symbol of my vows and the incredible benefits of the love she and I share with each other.

As I drive the streets and highways around Atlanta everyday (and we Atlantans drive a lot), I encounter signs that remind me of the speed limit, road construction (everywhere), curves in the road, and much more to remind me of things that will make my time behind the wheel more pleasurable and safe.

Every time I see a cross or a church steeple I am reminded of the love of God and God’s Presence among us. Those visual and physical symbols help me remember the ultimate gift of Jesus’ love and the reward of a rich and full life here and forever. They provide motivation to serve others in the name of Christ.They also remind me that the Church is a gift to the world and has the responsibility of sharing God’s love, grace, and forgiveness that transforms.

Thank God for these and other reminders and rewards.

Jamie Jenkins

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