Now, I love to play. I like kickball, dodgeball, backyard games of softball or basketball. I like hiking miles and miles in the mountains and taking long walks with friends. I even enjoy a class of kickboxing or Pilate's if someone I know can distract me with chatter. But call it exercise for exercise sake, and I instantly dislike it.
Yet, as I write this moment, I am sitting on my exercise bike with my computer propped up beside me and my legs are peddling furiously. I feel the burn. And later I have plans to stick in a DVD and workout with some lady who has amazing flexibility, because I don't.
So, why am I torturing myself? Because I need the exercise. Since going through my last pregnancy two years ago, I've noticed a definite change in my strength and well-being. And my pants are getting a bit tight. Ahem. I know I need to get my rear in gear, and that fuels my fire a bit to get moving.
Sometimes, I feel much the same about the spiritual disciplines. Discipline -- a word akin to exercise. Practicing spiritual disciplines for discipline sake makes me dislike them at times. It seems dutiful and dry and boring to pick up the Bible or to pray just because I should. But when I'm feeling weak or heartsick, and I'm getting squeezed by the pressures of life, there is a stronger desire within to seek the Lord.
But as in physical exercise, it's harder to get in shape, than to stay in shape . . .
(t-shirt from Amazon.com)
. . .so it is in our spiritual lives. I shouldn't have waited for my pants to get too tight to start a regular exercise routine, and I shouldn't wait til life squeezes me to practice walking with Jesus. For that is of far greater value than pants that fit just right.
"Rather, train yourself to be godly.
For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."
1 Timothy 4:8
Let's train together for something that will last.
*For the record, many of my running friends are also very godly people. Doesn't that just stink? (Grin.)*
For more training in the Word, check out Internet Cafe Devotions. Get fit!