Yes, we are in the middle of summer, and I am STILL kicking myself that I waited so late to get into shape. There was always an excuse; my favorite is always in Thanksgiving, when I convince myself it is a waste to get it together because Christmas and New Years always get in the way! (Can’t disappoint momma’s cookin’ now). And then it seems like every time I do a corporate fast for the New Years, THAT’S the time SOME RANDOM sends a box full of Jelly Belly’s for Valentine’s Day! Sigh…
But after the turkey was dropped, yams eaten, and plates licked off…I realized that I needed to get back into shape! But trust me, this was not a “Eureka” moment! There were some telling signs…and maybe these will help you also GET IN SHAPE!
- Pants get a little…snug. Yes, in this time of economic frugal-ness, I cannot afford to buy new garments to accommodate an unhealthy lifestyle. Sure, I could have fell in the trap of “well, I always wanted more curves,” but I knew that even though I may have looked good on the outside, I was holding on to more than I was intended to handle. The same can be true with our spiritual lives. At times, we try to carry our Bibles with our heartache; our sermons on the same ipod as our Jodeci slow jams; and our blessings with our bitterness. When we met Christ, we were created into new beings, dropping the old stuff and acquiring the new. God did not create us to hold onto two worlds–we had to choose which one we would live in. If you feel emotionally bloated, it may be time to do a “number 2” and drop off all the weighty unhealthy things that are taking up unnecessary space.
- Always looking for the escalator. It is so easy to get caught up in the “easy” way to your destination. I used to travel just one train and get off at a station that required me to walk for about 15 minutes before I got to my office. Then, it got a little hot, so I decided to stay on the train a little longer and transfer to a train that literally dropped me off in front of my office. Then, it got to the point where if the station escalator was out of service, I would groan as I walked up step-by-step in the mandatory exercise I did not ask for. I knew something had to change when I went searching for an ELEVATOR!!! Yes, me, a former tri-athlete, went to compete with passengers in wheelchairs and baby strollers for a Willy Wonka ride to the top! Naw, that is NOT why I have legs, knees, and ligaments! In body and in spirit, we must be leery of shortcuts. They do not only affect us physically, but they affect our psychological dependency. In life, many take shortcuts to the point that they rely on them…forgetting what it was like before they had “blue suede shoes.” We are not to lean on anything but the power of the Holy Spirit…because even really good short cuts…come up short. So take the stairs! The race does not come to the fastest, but to those that persevere.
- Hard of hearing. Everyone’s opinion about your figure doesn’t matter, just like everyone’s interpretation of your attitude doesn’t matter. But we all have that close circle that really REALLY only seeks our best interest. They are the ones that sometimes can point out our slip-ups, mishaps, and shortcomings. If you find yourself always snapping back, ignoring, or shaking your head at those who notice that you are carrying a little too much on your shoulders (or on your thighs)…PAUSE!!! Realize their position in your life. Ask yourself: Is this a friend that is trying to shut me down or build me up? Are they rooted in the same belief that we are all wonderfully made, and they just want me to be the best image our Creator intended? And even if I don’t like their tone, can I respect their message? Sometimes, we don’t take a hard enough look in the mirror…that’s why God sets up fellowship…and from that fellowship, sound counsel–so that others can see what we fail to acknowledge. Take your hands off your ears and just listen a little bit.
So do you need a little training? If so, follow next week as we discuss how to create..and maintain…a healthy workout!