I started this week with great guilt in my heart. This stemmed from the thought that this year I have yet to enter the doors of my favorite gym. Last week I wrote about moving through January’s calendar and how effective I’ve been. While revising this, I noticed that I included all my to-dos, but blew off placing days and times to attend the gym. I know now, that this was subconsciously intentional!
I enjoy working out, I really do. Nonetheless, at this juncture of my life I don’t believe that I should be at the gym, because it’s the norm to do at this time of the year. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd. When I came to realize this many years ago, my life became much easier to move through. I just do my own thing, and the freedom I get from this mode is quite enjoyable.
I believe that spiritual exercise is far more important than physical. From my experience, when I am completely focused on God’s words close at hand, my choices are significant. With His words, I am always kept fit and healthy, which usually shows in my demeanor, composure, and level of resilience.
Focus on some areas of my life encompasses:
Food and Drink: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV).
Simply said, when I bring God to my table, I thank Him for the healthy choices I’ve made. When I remember that God is completely with me, it is vital that I feed my spirit well, in order to share His good news with others. I also remember that one Snicker Bar takes approximately an hour to burn off on the treadmill! Whew! I’d rather be in the classroom of Christ Jesus., instead.
Choices: You say, “I am allowed to do anything”-but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything (1 Corinthian 6:12 NLT).
I can do whatever I like, but is this what God wants for me? I assert, it is not. This verse reminds me that I must never conform to the ways of this world. Instead, I earnestly wait for God in all things to include a most precious and holy partner. Likewise, to provide me with compatible clients to offer them good decent work. And, to be a wise steward of my finances. One example of this, could mean driving my car until the wheels fall off 🙂 Hey! It still runs…to my friends who call me frugal 🙂
Beauty: “…bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy
instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah, 61:3 NIV).
Intense physical exercise sheds pounds and keeps me fit. But what good is this if I am not joyful on the inside, if I am not kind and compassionate, and if I don’t honor God’s words? With softer approaches to exercise such as long walks, gardening, holy yoga, shower stretches, at home weight lifting, and etc., I continuously develop more appreciation of God’s wonders and his magnificence. I achieve results at His pace.
Rest: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Genesis 2:2-3 NIV)
Clearly God honors rest. Busyness is not always fruitful. Instead, it can be chaotic to the point that societal impulses could cause me to blame God for discordance. To enjoy the life that He gives me, I must take time to slow down and relish His wonders, just as he did. This is a vital practice to bring balance into daily existence.
Relationships: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV)
Based on my exposure, people who go to the gym are there for particulars such as to get it done, to admire shiny muscles, to meet a goal, for vanity or to relax in a massage chair. Though I know this to somewhat be a place for casual hook-ups, I’ve never heard of someone going to the gym to make a new and what would be a lasting friendship. It’s a quite transient community. It’s not a place where I can look forward to constructive conversations or to the building on my knowledge of God. It has its purpose, but pure, sweet, kind, nonjudgmental, supportive, and gentle relationships, for me, can only be garnered outside of these walls.
I intend to visit the gym soon, but only at my own will. Until that time comes, my leading is to continue to grow upon my spiritual awareness. In doing so, I am better able to deal with what life throws at me with more certainty and grace. My insecurities fade as my inner strength grows. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone nor be concerned that I must be rail thin to be liked or appreciated. I treasure friends in my age group, sailing in the same boat as me. We don’t have to be perfect on the outside, while not feeding God’s words to the inside. God made us all to be different shapes, sizes, and skin tones. I see only the inside, and eagerly ignore the upstart nature of uninvited egos…those that are exasperating and unsettled. Yes! I said it 🙂 I’ll write on this in one upcoming month.
God is so fabulous. I keep His words close at hand to steer through this earthly land.
No guilty feelings reside. No bondage to mainstream society, with God by my side. With Thee, I am perfectly free to be me!
Thank you my heavenly Father!
Your steady daughter,