Have You Worked Out Today?
A few years ago someone GAVE me a treadmill that had become a "coat rack" in their bedroom! It was such great timing because my doctor told me that one of the best things for me, in dealing with some of my health issues, would be to exercise hard and to SWEAT!!! So..that is what I do. Every day I get on the treadmill and walk/run really hard. I feel so good after I'm done. To be honest, I have to push myself to do it every day. I am not an athlete at heart and have never done much in the way of exercise. Almost every day I am tempted to skip it. (How did I marry an athletic director who played every sport in the book during high school AND college!?) I am drawn to the benefits of the exercise, but don't naturally like the discipline it takes or the process I need to go through to get those benefits!
One day while on the treadmill I was thinking about how hard it is for me to step on the thing every day. I started to think about how I am the same way spiritually. I am drawn to the Word, know how important it is for me to be in it, and love the "benefits" of spending time with the Lord. Unfortunately, my flesh does fight the discipline of sitting down, quieting my mind, and listening to the Lord. It seems like it is a battle every day to not get distracted and to choose to spend the time I need in the Word!
I heard someone say once that American Christians are "lazy, fat, and happy!" Just like I would probably be lazy and fat if I didn't discipline myself to get on the treadmill every day, the same would happen if I didn't discipline myself to be in the Word. As I age, I will become more vulnerable to disease and obesity if I don't exercise. The same will happen if I am not in the Word, learning how to discern between biblical and unbiblical thinking. I will become lazy and fat spiritually, and will open myself up to wrong ways of thinking, if I don't discipline myself to spend time with the Lord, nurturing our relationship.
I am finding it is necessary to turn everything I do into a way of nurturing my relationship with God and drawing near to Him. Not because I am so spiritual...but because I am NOT! When I wake up, I try to read some scripture. Then my family and I have breakfast and bible time. Next, I get on the treadmill and listen to worship music on the i-pod that my kids gave me for Valentines Day! As I am showering and dressing, I try to turn the thousands of thoughts going through my mind into prayers. As I'm working in the house, or driving somewhere, I like to listen to doctrinally sound, uplifting music. As our family interacts, we try to constantly direct the conversation towards how God would have us respond to different situations. If I sit down to rest, I read a chapter from a book I'm working through, or pray through some of my prayer list, rather than turning on the TV. I am working at doing something before bed as well. It seems like it is a constant battle to choose what I'm going to fill my mind with and how I am going to spend my time. Everything I do can be used to nurture my relationship God, and every part of the day can be an opportunity to hear from Him. I am not perfect in this, but it is becoming more of a habit.
I find the following verses very convicting:
I Corinthians 9:26-27 " Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim;I box in such a way, as not beating the air; But I buffet my body and make it myOld lessons.
slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others I myself should be disqualified."
Romans 12:1,2 "I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, and acceptable and perfect."
"Father, I pray that I would draw from the strength You have already provided for me, and that I would choose to do what is most needed and most important!"
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