Thursday, April 28, 2011

WORKOUT WOES: All this (and guilt too) for only $29 a month!

I have a love-hate relationship with the place where I work out.  I love the results that I
can achieve by going there.  I hate going there.

I chose this particular place because it was relatively quick (30 min on the machines), had early morning hours, and was women-only.  I am not sociable or attractive at that time of day and if I’m up early, it means that I’ll be in a hurry all day! It seemed ideal! They recommend that you come at least three days a week to benefit from the program…so far, after a year of paying my $29 a month, I have managed to get there three times in a week TWICE!  I have the “perfect” place to keep myself in shape, regularly available, and I can only manage to show up two times a week at best.  Not only is that pathetic, it provides me with a load of guilt on a regular basis.  My doctor tells me to go, my body tells me to go, even my checkbook tells me to go--it’s just hard to get my will to cooperate!

As I was upbraiding myself about this situation, it suddenly occurred to me that this is a perfect parallel to what God has provided for keeping my spirit in shape…He’s given me His word, the Bible, in several versions, His Spirit to help me discern what I read, a me-only quiet place and the hours are convenient: it is always available!  Not only that, He
has paid the “fee” (“…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”[1][1]) for this to be at my disposal. But do I take advantage of what has been provided for my daily spiritual
exercise? Not always.  How pathetic!  My Lord tells me to come (“…abide in Me. [2][2]), my heart tells me to come (joy awaits), but making my will cooperate is another matter!

I want to cry with the apostle Paul, “O, wretched man that I am…I do the very thing I hate!” [3][3]…he certainly understood…all the resources and riches of Christ at our disposal and we settle for an occasional “work out”. Who can rescue us from ourselves?  Paul goes on to give us the answer:  “Jesus Christ can…He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.”[4][4] When I’m willing to let my will be His will, a daily workout will be automatic…and maybe I’ll even show up at the gym!


[1][1] Romans 5:8 (NASB)
[2][2] John 15:4 (NASB)
[3][3] Romans 7:19,24 (KJV)
[4][4] Romans 7:25 (TM)

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