Charles Spurgeon once said, “By perseverence the snail reached the ark.” Let it be said of this series on simplicity as well that it will eventually arrive at its destination – completion. Hangeth thou in there (hupomano in Greek). : )
If you caught yesterday’s measly entry then you saw that just when I was trying hard to not waste time on the computer, I ended up spending Tuesday on the thing working. I promise. I may have clicked over to “fun” stuff once or twice but I did guard my time. How can such a blessing turn into such a nightmare, technology I mean?
Enough already. Let us forge ahead leaving behind what lies behind pressing forward to attain the prize, thank you Paul!
I = Incorporate exercise and fresh air into your day.
Aaaaaagh! When God laid that one out for me I was just about laid out myself. It slayed me. Really, Lord? Really?
I used to think that exercise was beneficial for losing weight. I know it’s true, but I’ve passed that point simply because at this point in my life I am quite frankly, not willing to exercise the amount of time it would take each day for me to get to and remain a size 8. Instead, I have come to realize that exercise for me is a time to release endorphins and seratonin so my mind can rest afterward and my mood not be so….moody.
Exercise does not stand a chance of ever being an addiction for me. Lethargy, on the other hand, can. Is.
It’s a love/hate relationship for me. I once heard Beth Moore at a Precept Convention talk about diet and exercise and she said the following regarding exercise, “Just do it.” Don’t talk about it, don’t obsess over it, just do it.
She was right.
Are you wondering why I chose the Scripture I did? It offers this one who does not like to exercise just enough motivation to consider it and at the same time be reminded of the fact that God wants a healthy body for us but He’s more concerned about our exercising godliness. After all, that is what has everlasting benefits. I struggled about which verse to choose. The one about the body being a temple? The ones about how athletes train and runners run? The one I chose was through the Holy Spirit’s guidance. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter and this verse comforts me without my heaping mountains of guilt on my temple for not having the body of an Olympic runner.
In Hebrews last year, we discussed all the chapters at length. When we got to chapter 12, I struggled where it says to lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles..to run with endurance. I realized the enemy was attacking me and condemning me for not conforming to the world’s standards of physical beauty. This thing attacks me often. Heavy attacks. Overwhelming attacks. Accusing attacks. I scarce can make it sometimes. I was not handling the passage accurately within its context. The enemy was delighted with his tactics.
Once I cleared my head of the lies and sat back down with the Word freshly prayed over I realized that unbelief in Christ was the specific sin being addressed here. An analogy of a professional runner was used because we don’t see them putting on extra weights to run a race; they try to shed anything that will hinder their success in the race and anything that will trip them up (they don’t run in loose bathrobes, do they?).
But, I can still apply this passage in a healthy way to my health. My sin can be the baggage of lethargy and that affects how I think sometimes. So, in order to have clear thoughts, exercise and fresh air from outside is good for my mind. If God chooses to bless my body with the loss of a few ounces, then glory! I choose today to not obsess over the air-brushed divas and how I do not compare. I choose today to enjoy this day that God has given me and to serve Him this day in a way that is pleasing to Him – not Vogue, not Self, not More, not Seventeen, not People, not Weight Watchers, not my past secret expectations, and not the lady in the next booth at dinner who looks like the pictures. I won’t. I won’t. I won’t.
How I think about my body affects whether I have a simple life. If I am stressed, mad, embarrassed, humiliated, etc. about my appearance today, then am I really going to be fun to be around? Am I really going to feel a godly confidence to do His work for His glory today? Nope. I get in a funk and then I try to bring others down the spiral with me. It’s a complicated thing. It’s complicated. It’s not simple living. I want to wake up tomorrow “fixed” and beautifully sized with blinding white teeth and perfectly coiffed hair and it stifles/paralyzes my living free today. Does this resonate with anybody? It stifles simple living. Yes, let’s care for our temples, but let’s not try to be magazine clones! Obsessing over our beauty and trying to measure up to the world’s standards is not simple and it will not satisfy.
Boy, that lead down a rabbit trail. I think it was a necessary one. Other than my own need to type it and receive it (again) I think there are others reading this who needed this today.
So, where are you on the exercise spectrum? Healthy expectations? Couch potato central? Gluttonous? Lethargic? Both? Over-exerciser? Under-eater? Both?
More than that? What does God say when He looks at you, TODAY, His precious, prized creation? Go back and read Psalm 139. You are a marvelous work of His! According to Song of Solomon 4:7, “You are all fair…there is no spot in you.”
The God of all the universe thinks you are beautiful. Do you?