After two years of living in Alabama and trying the work-out at home method (consisting of pilates, P90x and running around our neighborhood) Josh and I decided to join the gym. All of our methods failed when we tried to do it on our own. I'd walk outside to run, sweat just from the heat of the sun, and turn around and go back inside. It wasn't fun. So we finally took control of the matter and decided that driving 15 minutes to the other side of town was worth it to get back in shape.
We've always been active people, never really had to work at it. Both of us played sports in high school and college. I even worked up in the mountains during the summer and we'd go hiking. It came easy for us when we we had different outlets to keep us active. But as we've grown older we've become more and more comfortable with the sit on the couch and watch TV lifestyle. In fact, sometimes we even tell ourselves that we deserve it after a hard day of work. We soon realized that "letting ourselves go," as people call it, was a lot easier than imagined. We knew we had to take action and develop a routine that would help us stay in shape. That's when we said, hello gym!
It crossed my mind today, that letting ourselves go is not just something we do physically. I think we do it spiritually as well. We become undisciplined in our prayer lives, distracted by all the things of the world, we say we're going to do something about it... but never really do. I know, because I've been there. There are days when getting out of bed is literally an effort for me. That's how deep I've sunk in the hands of the enemy. He wants to keep us content with being a big, fat, lazy Christian. No offense. But just as sitting in front of a TV watching a health show doesn't make you healthy, attending a church service and listening to a preacher doesn't mean you're in good spiritual health. It's all about the exercise - or putting into use, as the definition states. You see... my muscles are broken down from an intense work-out I had the other day. But they will soon be built up stronger than ever before! That's what happens with us spiritually if we remain faithful to the Lord. Even when it's difficult, and hurts and you want to give up after just feeling the heat. If we remain faithful... He will use every situation, every exercising of our faith, to make us so much stronger.
There is a phrase that I see every time I enter the gym, "The mind will always give up before the body." And it's so true. We need to renew our minds daily to stay focused on the goal. One of my favorite verses, Romans 12:2 says, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." So what are you doing today to transform your mind and prevent from letting yourself go, both physically and spiritually?